Americans for Tax Reform today expressed support for the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 (H.R. 4775, S. 2882), which would allow states to pursue cost-effective and practical implementation of EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone.
The origins of EPA ozone regulations can be traced back to the original standards for criteria pollutants in 1971, which included ground-level ozone. These regulations have been regularly revised in the years since, the most recent occurring in 2008. However, due to bureaucratic delay characteristic of EPA regulators, the implementing regulations specified for 2008 were not published until March of 2015. The March 2015 regulations lowered the compliance level of ozone to 75 parts per billion (ppb).
As states began implementation of the 75 ppb standards, the EPA again revised the regulations in October 2015, imposing additional new planning and compliance obligations on states. By the EPA’s own estimate, the October 2015 standards, which lowered compliance to 70 ppb, would cost $1.4 billion annually, while providing little environmental benefit.
The EPA’s lack of efficiency and reliability on ozone standard implementation has put states in the position of having to possibly implement two costly ozone standards at the same time. Such inefficiency has left states burdened with confusing and costly implementation scenarios that could prove devastating for state economies.
In contrast, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 would provide states more time and flexibility to implement the standards on an efficient and realistic timeline. The Act would also address related implementation issues facing states under the NAAQS program, such as reforming the rulemaking process by extending the review period for pollutants from every 5 to 10 years.
Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports the Ozone Standards Implementation Act (H.R. 4775, S. 2882), and encourages members of Congress to support and vote for this much needed legislation.
Photo credit: John Griffiths