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Bill Will Improve Process for New EPA Air Quality Standards

WASHINGTON (June 6 , 2016) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in advance of an expected House vote on H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016. On October 1, 2015, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to 70 parts per billion. 

“We eagerly await a House vote on legislation to improve the implementation process for new EPA air standards. Manufacturers seeking to build and expand facilities must be able to secure regulatory permits in a timely, transparent and efficient manner. Yet it often takes years for EPA to provide the necessary rules and guidance, jeopardizing U.S. investment and job growth. 

“Delayed implementation of the 2008 ozone standards is a prime example. EPA did not finalize the guidelines for implementation of the standards until February 2015. In the meantime, state permitting agencies and manufacturers were left in limbo – confused, at times, about the requirements for projects such as new factories, expansions and restarts.

“H.R. 4775 combines elements of several previous bills. It sets a ten-year interval for NAAQS reviews, requires EPA to issue guidance concurrent with any new standards and leaves the 2008 permitting requirements in effect until nonattainment areas for the 2015 standards are designated. It will mean greater regulatory certainty for states and businesses alike.

“We commend Chairman Upton, along with Reps. Pete Olson (R-Texas), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), for their steadfast efforts to achieve these much-needed reforms. Following House passage, we look forward to Senate consideration of a companion bill sponsored by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va).”

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