CRS Praises Congressional Action to Provide Red Tape Relief from 2015 Ozone Standard05/18/2016
Washington D.C. – Karen Kerrigan, President of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) today applauded the House Energy and Commerce Committee for overwhelmingly supporting H.R. 4775, the “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016” by a vote of 30 to 23.
This bipartisan legislation gives states more time and flexibility to implement the 2015 ozone standard, which EPA finalized last fall. EPA tightened the standard despite serious concerns expressed by small business leaders across the United States, from Ohio to Colorado to New Mexico, who warned the agency that the lower standards would impose a crushing economic burden.
“The House Energy and Commerce Committee took a significant step forward today by passing bipartisan legislation aimed at balancing our economic and environmental needs,” said Karen Kerrigan, on behalf of the Center for Regulatory Solutions (CRS), a project of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. “It rights several wrongs that the administration imposed on job creators last fall.
“For example, the Administration’s 2015 ozone standard unfairly burdens Western States because of their naturally high levels background ozone. But that isn’t all. The lower standard is being implemented essentially at the same time as the 2008 standard, which is an incredibly inept way to go about this process.
“I applaud Chairman Upton for recognizing that imposing a duplicative burden at this time is absurd. Communities should not be punished for background ozone, which by definition they cannot control. This bill, along with its companion in the Senate, will ensure that small business men and women are not unfairly penalized by burdensome EPA regulations. I urge the Full House to quickly pass this legislation.”
In addition to extra time for compliance, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and co-sponsored by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) will help states that are struggling to find cost-effective and practical ways to implement EPA’s latest standard. It also fixes the fundamentally flawed NAAQS process by mandating that EPA review the ozone standard every ten years, instead of every five. Moreover, it would require the EPA Administrator to issue timely implementation regulations upon revising the NAAQS.
The Committee’s passage of H.R. 4774 is just the latest in a series of legislative moves designed to ease the economic cost of the stringent standard. A similar bill introduced in the Senate by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was described by Sen. Capito as, “…commonsense legislation provid[ing] a needed update to the way the EPA releases new ozone standards.”
As with the House bill, the Senate bill calls on EPA to consider technological feasibility when revising standards and to monitor the impact of foreign emissions on compliance. These two factors have been identified as major hurdles to achieving the new standard especially for Western States, which will almost inevitably be thrown into nonattainment, a status that would seriously hinder their economic growth.
The Center for Regulatory Solutions is a project of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, a 501c(4) advocacy, research, education and networking organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For twenty-three years, SBE Council has worked to educate elected officials, policymakers, business leaders and the public about policies that enable business start-up and growth.
# # #