Jennifer Scott (202) 249-6512   

WASHINGTON (March 17, 2015) - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today expressed strong support for S. 751, The Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) Act, reintroduced by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) The bill establishes a number of requirements before U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. Reps. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) are introducing a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

"We applaud Senators Thune and Manchin and Congressmen Olson and Latta for reintroducing the CASE Act. Their bill will help ensure that manufacturers eager to invest in the U.S. have a clear regulatory process and cost-effective, feasible standards. It's a common-sense approach that lets local economies grow even as air quality continues to improve.

"Emissions of common air pollutants and their precursors have fallen substantially , according to EPA. Between 1980 and 2013, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants fell 62 percent and ozone concentrations fell 33 percent, even as U.S. gross domestic product grew 145 percent. Voluntary and regulatory programs will continue to reduce ozone concentrations through 2030.

"The current ozone NAAQS of 75 parts per billion is the most stringent ever and hasn't been fully implemented across the country. Parts of 26 states still don't meet it. EPA should assist them before pursuing new regulations that could slow or stop manufacturing growth."

Under the CASE Act, 85 percent of the counties unable to meet the current standard would have to do so before EPA lowers the level yet again. The Agency would be required to use direct air quality monitoring, resulting in a more accurate assessment of nonattainment areas. And EPA would have to consider cost and feasibility when setting lower ozone standards.


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