After cutting value of life, EPA ditching the term

Getty Illustration

Seth Borenstein
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Bureaucrats are struggling with an age-old question: What is the value of our lives?

The government uses dollar amounts for lives when trying to weigh the costs and benefits of regulating such things as pollution, but it has proven politically and emotionally charged.

Now, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to stop putting a price tag on American lives and use different terminology, but that’s not as easy as it sounds.

The agency’s first try for a replacement — a wonky “value of mortality risk” — was shot down as not quite right by its science advisory board Thursday.

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