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Administration, States Should Fully Implement Existing Standard

ACC Map Shows Impact of
EPA Ozone Regulations

WASHINGTON (January 29, 2015) - American Chemistry Council (ACC) Senior Director of Environment and Process Safety Lorraine Gershman will appear at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  public hearing in Washington this afternoon to oppose the Administration's plan to lower the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone.

Ms. Gershman will point to a lack of health science evidence, ongoing air quality improvement and the difficulties communities and manufacturers will face since the level proposed by EPA-0.065 to 0.070 ppm-is unattainable for much of the country.

She will present a better path forward. "The current ozone standard is the most stringent ever and has not been fully implemented across the United States. EPA and states should focus on fully implementing and attaining the existing standard before contemplating a lower one-an approach that will continue to provide necessary health protection. As the science develops further, EPA will have the opportunity to determine whether any additional actions might be warranted in the future."

Many areas would be unable to meet the lower standard. "Currently, 222 counties covering a population of over 120 million people are in nonattainment with the existing 0.075 ppm standard," Ms. Gershman will say. "If EPA revises the standard to the lower end of the proposed range, we estimate that more than 2000 counties-urban and rural-would be in nonattainment."

"Communities designated 'nonattainment' have a hard time attracting industry and sustaining economic activity and growth," she will add. "Industry located in a nonattainment area face increased operating costs, permitting delays, and restrictions on building or expanding facilities. These challenges increase 'time to market' for innovative new products." Burdensome regulations and pricey emission offsets add cost and complexity to investment projects.

A lower ozone standard could impede manufacturing growth in many locations. In the chemical industry alone, $137 billion worth of new investment is planned or underway, thanks to plentiful and affordable natural gas and  NGLs that have improved our competitive position in global markets. "EPA's proposal to lower the ozone NAAQS will impose significant burdens and hurdles on new investment," Ms. Gershman will state.

ACC intends to file detailed technical comments on EPA's proposal, which was issued on November 26, 2014.

» View Ms. Gershman's full testimony  

» Learn more about environmental regulations


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