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Maintaining Current Ozone Standards Would Benefit Environment and Economy

WASHINGTON (July 7, 2015) - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement before an anticipated House vote this week on the fiscal 2016 EPA-Interior Appropriations bill, H.R. 2822. It includes bipartisan language that would prevent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from lowering the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) until at least 85 percent of counties have met the current standards. In November 2014, EPA proposed lowering the ozone NAAQS from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65-70 ppb.

"We commend Chairman Rogers and Congressman Jenkins for seeking to maintain today's ozone standards-the most stringent ever-as more communities come into compliance. By focusing on helping those states and facilities that are falling short, EPA could promote continued air quality improvement alongside manufacturing growth.

"At the lower end of EPA's proposed range, 2,000 counties in 45 states are projected to be unable to meet the new standards, triggering a host of regulations that inject uncertainty and could put manufacturing investment at risk. Industry located in nonattainment areas can face increased operating costs, regulatory permitting delays and restrictions on building or improving facilities.

"EPA's plan makes little sense when ozone concentrations are falling, manufacturers are expanding and the new production is cleaner and state-of-the-art. We urge lawmakers to approve H.R. 2822."

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