Tag: ozone standard

House Holds Hearing on Background Ozone

Yesterday, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on the Environment, held a hearing to examine the achievability of potential new ozone standards. The EPA, which substantially lowered the Ozone Standard in 2008 and then unsuccessfully tried again in 2010, is widely expected to propose lowering the Ozone Standard even further at some point this year. As witnesses from the scientific, legal, academic and state regulatory community testified today, achieving a lower standard in many parts of the country will be nearly impossible – if not completely impossible – because of naturally occurring ozone or ozone that is beyond the control of any U.S. regulatory agency (known as “background”).

Ozone can travel several thousand miles and concentration levels are greatly impacted by, amongst other things, topography and weather. However, after EPA sets an air quality standard, like the Ozone Standard, states have limited tools with which to achieve these federal mandates. So manufacturers end up bearing the brunt of the costs, even in areas where there are very few industries. In fact, several national parks, with no industrial activity at all, have been found to be in “nonattainment”.

The situation will be particularly vexing in the Western United States, where ozone attributable to pollution from Mexico and several Asian and European countries contributes significantly to higher ozone measurements. Many of these regions are rural areas of the country with few industries, yet according to EPA would be classified as “nonattainment” and left with little hope of future economic development. As EPA considers lowering the Ozone Standard this year, potentially bringing nearly the entire country into nonattainment, serious consideration should be given to the impact background ozone levels have on nonattainment determinations and the impacts a lower ozone standard could have on manufacturers across the country.

Greg Bertelsen is director of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

 

 

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Additional Regulatory Reforms Still Needed

The Administration’s announcement yesterday to cut several regulations is a step in the right direction. The President and his team recognize that unnecessary burdens placed on the economy can hinder job creation and economic development. The challenge remains to apply these principles consistently across the government to new and proposed regulation.

The net benefits of these reforms, however, could be swallowed up by new, unnecessarily costly regulations that the Administration is considering – the most egregious of which is the reconsideration of the national standards for Ozone.

This is an entirely discretionary action on the part of the EPA that is under consideration. Neither the courts nor Congress can be blamed if the Obama Administration decides to impose a new regulation that imperils 7.3 million jobs and adds $1 trillion in new costs annually between 2020 and 2030. This and an assortment of other EPA rules currently proposed or under consideration can have a devastating impact on job creation and the economy.

Manufacturers hope that this announcement is just the first of many signs that the White House takes these principles seriously and will not impose discretionary or unnecessary regulatory burdens on the economy. To demonstrate their seriousness about regulatory review and job creation, the White House should follow up with another announcement returning the Ozone rule to EPA to defer reconsideration until the next mandated review period. It would be better to stop a bad regulation early than to have to engage in a “look back” to fix it after the economy feels its negative effects.

Rosario Palmieri is vice president for infrastructure, legal and regulatory policy.

Update:

Press coverage on yesterday’s announcement:

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Continued Uncertainty from the EPA

The EPA is continuing to cause unnecessary uncertainty for manufacturers of all sizes due to regulations ranging from Boiler MACT, Utility MACT, and the new ozone standard. These costly and burdensome regulations will severely impede manufacturers’ ability to create jobs at a critical time in our economic recovery.

In an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post House Majority Leader Erin Cantor points to the cost of the new ozone standard:

 ”There is no other conclusion for policies such as the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including the “Transport Rule,” which could eliminate thousands of jobs, or the ozone regulation that would cost upward of $1 trillion and millions of jobs in the construction industry over the next decade.”

Manufacturers hope to see policies from Washington which will help them grow, compete and create jobs. Manufacturing has been a bright spot in the economic recovery and the new ozone standard will only dampen economic growth.

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