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Ozone Bill Reintroduced in 115th Congress

Legislation aims to help states comply with EPA ozone standards, cut costs and save jobs

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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 2017 | Andre Castro (202-225-6105) | comments

U.S. Representatives Bill Flores (R-Texas), Pete Olson (R-Texas) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) were joined today by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in reintroducing the Ozone Standards Implementation Act in the 115th Congress. This legislation, which was introduced in both the House and Senate, would update how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) addresses ozone requirements in the Clean Air Act.

Currently, the EPA must review national ambient air quality standards every five years. This has resulted in new ozone standards being issued before previous standards are implemented, leaving states faced with the prospect of simultaneously implementing two ozone standards. The Ozone Standards Implementation Act would elongate the time between each review from five years to 10 years, making it easier and more cost-effective for states to comply.

“The Ozone Standards Implementation Act gives states the needed time to fully implement two different ozone standards sequentially in a realistic and coordinated manner. By harmonizing the EPA’s conflicting ozone standards, this bill provides for a more efficient implementation process and protects American jobs and public health,” said Rep. Bill Flores

"Our nation has worked hard to reduce ozone levels and improve air quality. As we continue this progress, we need to give states better tools to meet air quality goals efficiently. As we work to keep this trend moving in the right direction, this bill provides needed flexibility so that states and localities can properly achieve new, lower standards with time for compliance. I'm pleased that we have strong, early support for this bill in both the House and Senate,” Rep. Pete Olson said.

“Providing more time and flexibility for states to implement the EPA’s 2015 standards will lower regulatory costs that harm job creation in our energy, manufacturing, and chemical sectors," said Rep. Bob Latta. "While we all share the goal of clean air, this legislation alleviates the challenges that many states, including Ohio, are facing as they seek to meet the new requirements. This bill is commonsense legislation that allows us to maintain high environmental standards without placing an undue burden on our economy."

“In West Virginia and across the country, states have suffered job losses and economic devastation under the regulatory burdens of the previous administration. The Ozone Standards Implementation Act will provide more clarity, more regulatory certainty, and ease the economic burden of never-ending overreach,” said Senator Capito.

“This commonsense bill provides relief from the EPA’s burdensome ozone standard requirements and builds on the ORDEAL Act’s efforts to streamline costly agency regulations,” said Senator Flake. “Eliminating regulatory uncertainty will allow states and businesses to focus on creating jobs instead of complying with federal mandates.”

“I’ve always said we need to strike a balance between the environment and the economy and the Ozone Standards Implementation Act will do just that,” Senator Manchin said. “The current EPA rule is reviewed and implemented too frequently and leaves states unsure on which standards to implement, creating unnecessary confusion. This legislation also requires the EPA to consider technological feasibility when revising standards and report the impacts of foreign emissions to Congress. We must hold the EPA accountable and streamline these overreaching regulations that have been crippling West Virginia’s economy.” 

Highlights of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act:

Revised Timelines

- Changes the mandatory review of national ambient air quality standards from five years to 10 years.
- Phases in implementation of the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards, extending the compliance date for the 2015 standards to 2025.

Consideration of Feasibility
Calls on the EPA to consider technological feasibility when revising standards.

Congressional Oversight
- EPA shall submit a report to Congress within two years regarding the impacts of foreign emissions on compliance and related matters.

Click here to view a one-pager on the bill.

Click here to view the bill text.


 

 

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Tags: Energy

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