Environmental Protection Agency Director Anne M. Gorsuch said yesterday that the Reagan administration supports a revision in federal controls on air pollution that opponents charge would severely weaken the law.
Gorsuch, in testimony prepared for delivery before a House Energy subcommittee, said the Clean Air Act must be updated "to focus federal resources on effective measures and minimize unproductive . . .conflicts."
A bipartisan group of congressmen has proposed a series of controversial amendments to the 1977 Clean Air Act which they argue will simplify the regulation of pollution sources.
Gorsuch's appearance before the panel was postponed until next week due to a scheduling conflict.
Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.), a supporter of strong pollution control laws, testified that "the bill would weaken drastically the act's program . . . condemning millions of people to continuation of excessive pollution levels."
One of the most controversial changes, which Gorsuch said she supported, would give states an additional five years--until 1987--to meet air quality standards for some pollutants.
The amendments' sponsors argued that industries, particularly in the northeastern states, had been put under financial strain in part by complex federal pollution regulations.
Hart said some waivers of pollution control laws could be considered for financially troubled industries if there were assurances of no damage to public health.
The EPA also announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will design and manage contracts let by the agency to clean up the nation's hazardous waste dumps.
The cleanup work will be done by private industry, but the corps will oversee the contracts let under the industry-government "superfund" and provide technical assistance to EPA, the agency said.
The EPA has identified 115 sites as the most hazardous in the country and is in the process of expanding the list to about 400.