WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for the Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs Bill Kovacs issued the following statement today regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal that would lower the current ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) from 75 ppb to a range of 65 to 70 ppb:
“The EPA’s proposal to lower the ozone standard will have potentially damaging economic consequences for this country. This stricter standard will lead to more nonattainment designations across the United States, which translates into restrictions on expansion, permitting delays, increased costs to industry, and an impact to transportation planning. This more stringent standard will also strike at the heart of those areas that are just beginning to appreciate the economic benefits of planning for and building new facilities, expanding existing ones, and developing their communities.
“This proposal represents another example of rushed rulemaking by a federal agency. The result is a proposed standard that is based upon incomplete science and incorrect assumptions. Most notably, the implementation rules for the 2008 ozone NAAQS still have not been finalized. Additionally, the EPA has failed to consider key factors in its review of the standard, including the impact of international transport on U.S. ozone levels, the economic impact of lowering the standard, and background levels. The agency should withdraw any proposal to lower the standard until the existing ozone standard has been implemented fully, and these factors have been completely assessed.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.