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ozone Archives - Shopfloor

House Energy and Commerce Committee to Hold Markup on NAM-Supported Ozone Bill

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

On June 28, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up H.R. 806, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017. This bill would create a more flexible glide path for manufacturers to comply with the 2015 ozone standard, harmonizing the compliance process for the 2015 standard with the behind-schedule process for the 2008 standard. In doing so, it would allow real ozone reductions to continue through 2025 without the unnecessary economic pain of ozone nonattainment. H.R. 806 would change the five-year review cycle for new standards to a more reasonable 10-year cycle, which is the typical time the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to complete these reviews. The bill also takes positive steps to address manufacturers’ permitting challenges as they pertain to ozone standards and requires real examination of the impact of international air pollution on domestic ozone levels.

The Clean Air Act has successfully improved air quality across the United States over the past four decades, leading to major reductions of virtually every single air pollutant. Ozone levels have declined roughly one-third since 1980, and the precursors that contribute to ozone—nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds—have been cut in half. In fact, the Obama EPA projected that the United States would achieve nearly the same air quality by 2025 even if the 2015 ozone standard was never implemented.

However, incremental improvements in ozone are now coming at an exponential cost. Even though most states can meet the 2015 standard by 2025, they would be unnecessarily thrown into “nonattainment,” a sort of economic penalty box, if the 2015 standard’s deadlines were to stay in place. H.R. 806 solves this problem by phasing the 2015 ozone standard implementation to align with air quality improvements that the Obama EPA found will occur anyway by 2025.

The NAM supports H.R. 806 and looks forward to working with the committee to get this important legislation to the president’s desk.

Senate Panel to Focus on Ozone Implementation Challenges

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

This afternoon, the Senate Environment and Public Works‎ Committee will hold a hearing to examine the implementation of the 2015 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ozone standard and to discuss legislation to improve the challenges this new regulation has created for manufacturers. In late 2015, in the face of overwhelming opposition from governors, mayors, economic development councils, transportation authorities and all segments of the industry, the EPA tightened the ozone standard to 70 parts per billion (ppb), down from 75 ppb. This move was certain to place counties across the United States into nonattainment, essentially turning them into no-grow zonesthat businesses typically avoid.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) didnt like the new standard—in fact, we were forced to enlist our own Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action to litigate the final rule—but if that standard is to stay in place, we certainly need help implementing it. More importantly, we need help now, since the 2015 rules deadlines are still running. For many areas, the pain could start very soon.

For instance, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District told a House subcommittee last year that, to reduce ozone, it already has taken such extreme steps as banning residents from using their fireplaces in most winter months and implementing regulations that limit the amount of time lids can be off paint cans. Even with these measures, they will not meet the current ozone standard even if they eliminate emissions from all stationary and area sources, off-road equipment, farm equipment, passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks. It’s not just California that has these problems. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources noted in its 2015 comments to the proposed rule that there were no effective control measures left available to the state, beyond those already identified and being implemented, to reduce ozone levels in the Atlanta nonattainment area.

The committee will examine two bills ‎designed to address Ozone implementation issues: the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (S. 263) and the ORDEAL Act of 2017 (S. 452). Both would create a more flexible glide path for manufacturers to comply with the 2015 standard, allowing reductions to continue through 2025 without the unnecessary economic pain of ozone nonattainment. Both would also change the five-year review cycle for new standards to a more reasonable 10-year cycle, which is the typical time the agency needs to complete these reviews. S. 263 also takes positive steps to address manufacturers’ permitting challenges as they pertain to ozone standards and requires real examination of the impact of international air pollution on domestic ozone levels.

The NAM looks forward to working with the committee to fix the implementation challenges related to the 2015 ozone standards.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) Offers Legislative Relief for 2015 Ozone Regulation

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) commitment to addressing the significant challenges created by the 2015 ozone standards is encouraging to manufacturers who continue to grapple with one of the most expensive regulations ever. While the ozone regulation hinders manufacturers across the country, compliance is particularly challenging in western states where, at times, background levels approach or even exceed the federal standards. Sen. Flake’s Ozone Regulatory Delay and Extension of Assessment Length Act of 2017 (ORDEAL Act) and the Commonsense Legislative Exceptional Events Reform Act (CLEER Act) would take important steps toward addressing these challenges while reducing some of the costliest aspects of the 2015 ozone standards.

Manufacturers support Sen. Flake and others in Congress who continue to work toward commonsense legislative solutions to the 2015 ozone regulation.

 

Ozone Implementation Relief Bill Introduced in House and Senate

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Last week, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) introduced the bipartisan Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (S. 263/H.R. 806), legislation to provide much-needed relief and flexibility to manufacturers in implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 ozone rule. The bill offers a balanced approach that ensures continued air-quality improvements, while giving states and manufacturers the flexibility necessary to limit some of the economic growth restrictions that exist under the current regulation. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) key-voted similar legislation in the House during the 114th Congress, which the House passed on June 8, 2016, by a vote of 234–177. Read More

Senate Committee Discusses Ozone Implementation Relief

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers are encouraged today to see leaders on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hold a meaningful hearing on ways to ease the implementation burdens from the Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) 2015 ozone regulation. Manufacturers across the United States have shown that environmental progress and job creation can go hand in hand, but the ozone standards finalized by the administration last fall take us further from that goal. By setting the strictest ozone standards ever at a time when states and manufacturers were still working toward meeting the existing requirements, the administration decided to add another layer of red tape to job creation and economic progress.

The objectives of both bills discussed at today’s hearing—Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) S. 2882, the Senate companion bill to the House-passed H.R. 4775, and S. 2072, a bill offered by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO)—would help ease the burden from the ozone rule, while ensuring our nation’s air quality continues to improve.

At the hearing, Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona  Chamber of Commerce & Industry, which is the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) state allied group in Arizona, spoke to the challenges business and manufacturers in his state face to implement this regulation. Earlier this year, Hamer and NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons coauthored an op-ed highlighting those roadblocks to growth.

Ozone 70 Infographics (700x350)

Manufacturers encourage Senate leaders to continue working to address these issues and ultimately bring an ozone implementation relief bill to the floor for passage

Senate Ozone Implementation Bill Encouraging Development for Manufacturers

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers were encouraged by today’s introduction by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016, a bill that would provide some much-needed relief and flexibility to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 final ozone rule. The Capito-Flake Ozone Implementation Bill is similar to the NAM-supported H.R. 4775 in the House, introduced by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX). Both bills offer a balanced approach that ensures continued air quality improvements, while giving states and manufacturers the flexibility necessary to limit some of the economic growth restrictions that exist under the current regulation.

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, and air quality has improved vastly, many of our environmental policies, such as the ozone rule, have failed to keep pace. Read More

On Ozone, Hickenlooper Gets It

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers are encouraged by the statements made by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) regarding the need for relief from the Environmental Protection Agency’s October 2015 ozone standards. The governor made the following statement yesterday:

“So I think it would be a great idea if they suspended the standard. I mean, just with the background [ozone], if you’re not going to be able to conform to a standard like this, you are leaving the risk or the possibility that there will be penalties of one sort or another that come from your lack of compliance. Obviously, no different than any business, states want to have as much predictability as possible, and I think if they suspend the standards, it’s not going to slow us down from continuing to try and make our air cleaner…

You know, we’re a mile high. Air quality issues affect us more directly than they do at lower elevations. So we’re going to keep pushing it, we’re not going to back off, we’re going to continue to improve the air quality in the state every year if I have anything to say about it, but at the same time, those standards, you know, to be punitive when you’re working as hard as you can … to get cleaner air as rapidly as you can, it seems like it’s not the most constructive stance.”

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Manufacturers Encouraged by Ozone Implementation Bill

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

We often say that clean air and a strong economy can go hand-in-hand. Underlying that belief is a recognition that we need the right policies in place to ensure both goals are achieved. Just five months after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its strictest ozone regulation ever, throwing hundreds of counties into noncompliance with the standard, manufacturers are encouraged to see leaders from the House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) offer legislation that would restore some much-needed flexibility to this policy.

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. Modern manufacturing has evolved into a sleek, technology-driven industry, and air quality has improved vastly as a result. But many of our environmental policies, such as the ozone rule, have failed to keep pace.

Ozone 70 Infographics (700x350) Read More

In Arizona and Across the United States, State and Local Leaders See the Problem

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

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. Read More

Energy Bill, TSCA Reform Show Momentum Building for Congressional Solutions on Energy, Environment

By | Energy, Policy Experts, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

This week, the Senate is debating S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, on the floor. The bill, introduced by Senate Energy Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and passed by the committee on a decisive 18-4 vote, is expected gain broad support from both sides of the aisle. There is a lot to like in the bill, including a wide range of measures on energy efficiency and improvements to the licensing process for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. The debate on S. 2012 comes on the heels of successful passage of legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by the Senate at the end of 2015. (The House passed a similar TSCA reform bill earlier in the year by a 398-1 vote, and the two bills await a conference.)

For years, Washington earned a well-deserved reputation for gridlock and an inability to solve problems. But these two bills, much like the recent successes on tax, infrastructure and trade, are a sign that the gridlock may be starting to ease. And if that’s the case, there are no shortage of energy and environmental issues that manufacturers would like some real, bipartisan solutions on. We talk about a lot of these in the our “Competing to Win” platform document, unveiled today by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons as he kicked off this year’s State of Manufacturing Tour. Read More