API announced the passage of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act out of the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee. The legislation recognizes that the US has continued to make dramatic improvements in air quality under existing regulations and that relief is needed for states and businesses from the duplicative regulatory and economic burdens of the previous administration’s implementation of concurrent ozone programs.
“States are already making significant progress under current ozone standards and the nation’s air continues to get cleaner,” said API Senior Director of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman. “Legislation protecting states and businesses from duplicative and costly regulations are steps in the right direction.
“API is committed to working with EPA and Congress so only one set of ozone standards is being implemented at any given time. Removing hurdles for job creation and supporting local economies through environmentally responsible manufacturing, infrastructure and energy projects should be top priorities.”
The EPA issued stringent new regulations in 2015 before the previous 2008 regulations had been fully implemented despite data showing U.S. ozone emissions declined by 17 percent between 2000 and 2015. The new regulations burden state agencies and local economies with the obligation to develop two different but concurrent ozone programs. The latest ozone standards, which approach background levels in many areas, could place even rural, undeveloped areas out of compliance and could place new restrictions on virtually any economic activity. The Ozone Standards Implementation Act introduced by Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) offers state and local regulators necessary flexibility to implement new ozone standards while ensuring economic security.
“API looks forward to working with Congress and EPA as they enact forward-thinking approaches that can meet the nation’s environmental and energy needs,” said Feldman. “This is a smart step forward and we urge the full House to quickly pass this legislation as the U.S. continues to advance environmental stewardship while meeting the energy needs of American consumers and businesses.”