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Bill Addresses Problems with Implementation Process

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2016) — The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in advance of a hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety regarding S. 2882, the “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016.” A companion bill, H.R. 4775, passed the House on June 8. Last fall, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to 70 parts per billion.

“We look forward to Wednesday’s hearing on bipartisan legislation that will improve the implementation process for new EPA ozone standards. We commend Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and the bill’s co-sponsors for their efforts to support U.S. manufacturing and job growth.

“EPA’s new ozone standards took effect on December 28, 2015. Manufacturers who want to build or expand a facility must first obtain a regulatory permit. Yet EPA often fails to provide the necessary rules and guidance – delays that can last for years and put investment and hiring at risk.

“As a prime example, it took seven years for EPA to finalize the guidelines for implementation of the 2008 ozone standards. In the meantime, states and manufacturers were left in limbo – confused, at times, about the requirements for the permitting of projects such as new factories, expansions and restarts.

“S. 2882 will help. It sets a ten-year interval for NAAQS reviews, requires EPA to issue implementation guidance concurrent with any new standards and leaves permitting requirements for the 2008 ozone standards in effect until nonattainment areas for the new 2015 standards are designated. Such reforms will provide greater regulatory certainty for states and businesses alike. We look forward to working with sponsors to expedite passage.”


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