The EPA is exposing people to high levels of pollution in its experiments – whose outcomes are used to justify the war on coal and energy producers around the country. It hopes that these experiments’ outcomes will justify stricter emission standards in its upcoming National Air Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

But in conducting them, it is exposing people, including the elderly and those with asthma and heart problems, to pollution levels 50 times greater than what the agency says is safe for humans without disclosing the risks according to a recent Inspector General’s report.

This is a stunning display of hypocrisy. Take particulate matter (PM), for example. The EPA sets PM standards at 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, but the IG report says that experiment subjects were exposed to up to 751 micrograms of PM.

Former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson stated:

Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should… If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.

But, managers overseeing EPA human testing told the IG’s office that “the exposure risk for healthy individuals is minimal.”

Either the EPA is exaggerating the science about the dangers of PM to advance its own regulatory agenda, or it is exposing people to deadly emissions for no reason.

“It is a concern that EPA would assert in the rulemaking process that [PM] exposure is deadly,” said Senate Republicans calling out this hypocrisy, “while simultaneously asserting in the waivers signed by participants in EPA human exposure studies that these exposures are not harmful.”