Ozone Bill Reintroduced in 115th Congress
Legislation aims to help states comply with EPA ozone standards, cut costs and save jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) were joined today by Representatives Pete Olson (R-Texas), Bill Flores (R-Texas) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) in reintroducing the Ozone Standards Implementation Act in the 115th Congress. This legislation, which was introduced in both the House and Senate, would update how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) addresses ozone requirements in the Clean Air Act.
Currently, the EPA must review national ambient air quality standards every five years. This has resulted in new ozone standards being issued before previous standards are implemented, leaving states faced with the prospect of simultaneously implementing two ozone standards. The Ozone Standards Implementation Act would elongate the time between each review from five years to 10 years, making it easier and more cost-effective for states to comply.
“In West Virginia and across the country, states have suffered job losses and economic devastation under the regulatory burdens of the previous administration. The Ozone Standards Implementation Act will provide more clarity, more regulatory certainty, and ease the economic burden of never-ending overreach,” said Senator Capito.
“This commonsense bill provides relief from the EPA’s burdensome ozone standard requirements and builds on the ORDEAL Act’s efforts to streamline costly agency regulations,” said Senator Flake. “Eliminating regulatory uncertainty will allow states and businesses to focus on creating jobs instead of complying with federal mandates.”
“I’ve always said we need to strike a balance between the environment and the economy and the Ozone Standards Implementation Act will do just that,” Senator Manchin said. “The current EPA rule is reviewed and implemented too frequently and leaves states unsure on which standards to implement, creating unnecessary confusion. This legislation also requires the EPA to consider technological feasibility when revising standards and report the impacts of foreign emissions to Congress. We must hold the EPA accountable and streamline these overreaching regulations that have been crippling West Virginia’s economy.”
"Our nation has worked hard to reduce ozone levels and improve air quality. As we continue this progress, we need to give states better tools to meet air quality goals efficiently. As we work to keep this trend moving in the right direction, this bill provides needed flexibility so that states and localities can properly achieve new, lower standards with time for compliance. I'm pleased that we have strong, early support for this bill in both the House and Senate,” Rep. Pete Olson said.
“The Ozone Standards Implementation Act gives states the needed time to fully implement two different ozone standards sequentially in a realistic and coordinated manner. By harmonizing the EPA’s conflicting ozone standards, this bill provides for a more efficient implementation process and protects American jobs and public health,” said Rep. Bill Flores.
“Providing more time and flexibility for states to implement the EPA’s 2015 standards will lower regulatory costs that harm job creation in our energy, manufacturing, and chemical sectors," said Rep. Bob Latta. "While we all share the goal of clean air, this legislation alleviates the challenges that many states, including Ohio, are facing as they seek to meet the new requirements. This bill is commonsense legislation that allows us to maintain high environmental standards without placing an undue burden on our economy."
The Ozone Standards Implementation Act also addresses the overlap between standards that were issued in 2008 and 2015. States did not receive implementation guidelines for the 2008 ozone standards until March 2015. Seven months later, in October 2015, the EPA issued new standards to replace the existing 2008 standards, which states are still working to comply with. This bill extends the compliance date for the 2015 standards to 2025. It also directs the EPA to submit a report to Congress within two years regarding the impact of foreign pollutions sources on compliance.
In addition to Senators Capito, Flake and Manchin, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act is co-sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Highlights of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act:
- Changes the mandatory review of national ambient air quality standards from five years to 10 years.
- Phases in implementation of the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards, extending the compliance date for the 2015 standards to 2025.
Consideration of Feasibility
- Calls on the EPA to consider technological feasibility when revising standards.
- EPA shall submit a report to Congress within two years regarding the impacts of foreign emissions on compliance and related matters.
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