Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a strict new ozone regulation that could be one of the most expensive in U.S. history. The economic barriers created by this rule, long warned about by manufacturers, continue grabbing headlines and the attention of lawmakers across the country.
In connection with an EPA two-day workshop in Phoenix on background ozone (ozone originating from natural sources or foreign countries), the NAM, along with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Center for Regulatory Solutions, participated in a press conference call to highlight some of the unique challenges facing businesses in Arizona.
Specifically, participants explained the difficulties created as background ozone accounts for an increasing and disproportionate amount of the ozone causing many states to be in violation and how, in turn, manufacturers are finding it more difficult to make investments in these communities. This call was covered by publications across the state and in Washington, D.C., such as the Deseret News, Cronkite News and the Arizona Republic.
In Arizona, state and local leaders recognize the problem and have been vocal advocates fighting against this costly regulation. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has been leading the legal fight against the EPA along with four other states.
“We all want clean air; however, reducing the ozone standards to 70 parts per billion will be nearly impossible for Arizona to attain,” said Brnovich. “The new rule completely ignores Congress’ intent that the EPA set ozone levels for the states that are actually attainable. The financial stakes for this state are enormous if we are unable to comply, and I am going to do everything within my power as attorney general to protect Arizona.”
The opposition to this rule extends across the state and country as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, nearly the entire Arizona congressional delegation and numerous local mayors and state officials joined hundreds of elected officials nationwide in opposing the EPA’s new ozone rule.
Since 1980, ozone levels are down nationwide more than 30 percent—and down nearly 20 percent in just the past decade. With new investments coming online utilizing the best and cleanest technologies available, these trends will continue. Unfortunately, while modern manufacturing has evolved into a sleek, technology-driven industry, many of our environmental policies, such as the ozone rule, are outdated, have failed to keep pace and are unfairly punishing manufacturers. Ultimately, we need Congress to modernize these outdated environmental statutes.
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