Tuesday, January 27, 2015

EPA Ozone Public Hearing Set for DC

EPA Headquarters
EPA will hold its ozone rule hearing on Thursday at EPA headquarters.  EPA will hold several public hearings on the proposed updates to the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, also known as smog. EPA has proposed to strengthen the standards to a level within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion(ppb) to better protect American’s health and the environment, while taking comment on a level as low as 60 ppb.

While the low end of the range in the proposed rule (65 ppb) is very troubling for industry and states, as low as background levels of ozone in many parts of the country and pushing as much as 94% of the nation out of attainment, 60 ppb would be devastating for manufacturing, oil and gas production and agriculture across the country.  One thing to consider: the Administration only has so much political capital at its disposal and it has made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.

It is unclear that the Administration has the bandwidth to sustain both rules.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will demand that the proposed ozone NAAQS be placed on a more realistic course.  Look for Strong pushback on Ozone/NAAQS from Oil and gas.  (Frank Maisano)

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