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EPA let small refiner err on lead levels, paper says

Anne M. Gorsuch, head of the Enivronmental Protection Agency, promised a small oil refinery, Thriftway Company of New Mexico, it wouldn't be prosecuted if it violated federal lead standards, according to the New York Times. A report by the EPA inspector general said Thriftway spokesmen, at a Dec. 11 meeting with Mrs. Gorsuch, told her the company could be ruined without exemption from limits on the lead content of gasoline, the Times said.

Mrs. Gorsuch, in a statement within the report, said she meant the privilege might be given to ''all parties,'' while the agency drafted new rules on lead. But Rep. Toby Moffett (D) of Connecticut, who asked for the investigation, said other refiners were not informed of any policy change, charging ''a clear case of political favoritism,'' the newspaper said.

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