The E-P-A held a hearing at the University of Iowa on Tuesday, with a special invitation to Iowa’s senior citizens. They have a particular stake in new rules being considered that would ease pollution standards by lowering the human “cost” of illness and death. Arlinda KcKeen, spokeswoman for the state Public Policy Group, explains that when an environmental rule’s proposed, backers must do a cost-benefit analysis.How much will it cost to comply with the regulation, for instance, and what will the value of its benefits be? But the way such costs and benefits are figured will be changed, and McKeen says that’s what environmental and public-interest groups are objecting to. They’re not looking at the longterm value of cutting pollution any more, only the short-term benefits expected. A dollar figure’s put on those costs and benefits, but McKeen says the formula used to calculate the dollar value is being changed. The old formula set a high dollar value on the life of a person — and the new formula not only calculates that at a much smaller dollar value, but ranks people over age 70 at just 63-percent of that value. Bob Welsh, chair of the Johnson County task Force on Aging, went to the hearing in Iowa City and heard a lot of people saying the same thing, that the EPA should renounce that “alternative analysis” proposal that lowers the value of a human life from six-million to three-point-seven million and the life of a person over 70 to less than that of one who’s younger. Welsh has heard the argument that the elderly and children are most susceptible to health effects of pollution, so “devaluing” them in the analysis would ease pollution restrictions on businesses. When they determine the cost-benefit of a regulation, he says if they “devalue a human life,” it becomes a rationale for not doing things. Welsh says at least a hundred people attended the EPA hearing in Iowa City Tuesday.