House Passes Bill to Shield States from Job Killing EPA Ozone Regulation, Includes Gosar Amendment to Incorporate Wildfire Impact

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Washington, DC, June 8, 2016 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House successfully passed H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act by a vote of 234 to 177, which included a Gosar amendment that ensures a study on ozone formation in the underlying bill analyzes the relative contribution from wildfires:
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For Immediate Release

Date: June 8, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House successfully passed H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act by a vote of 234 to 177, which included a Gosar amendment that ensures a study on ozone formation in the underlying bill analyzes the relative contribution from wildfires:

“Rather than allowing time for states to implement the 2008 ozone regulation, the EPA moved the goalposts and is seeking to unilaterally implement a new standard that the agency projected in 2010 would cost our economy $19 to $25 billion annually. To make matters worse, the 70 ppb standard is not attainable in 9 of the 10 counties in Arizona that measure ozone levels and even the Grand Canyon National Park would be in nonattainment. This unrealistic regulation, not based on science, will force companies to close their doors and kill countless jobs throughout the country.

“Furthermore, my amendment included in H.R. 4775 is an important step for encouraging federal land management agencies to adopt a forward-thinking, active management strategy that combats dangerous wildfires before they get started. Data released from NASA a few years ago concluded that one catastrophic wildfire can emit more carbon emissions in a few days than total vehicle emissions in an entire state over the course of a year. My commonsense amendment requires that the study on ozone formation in the underlying bill analyze the relative contribution from wildfires. Having sound science on the extent to which ozone formation from wildfire emissions occurs will hopefully lead to a more proactive approach for managing our nation’s forests.”


Background:

From the Republican Study Committee: H.R. 4775 would delay from 2020 to 2026 the implementation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone emissions promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015…The EPA would be prohibited from completing any review of the criteria for ozone or the national ambient air quality standard for ozone before October 26, 2025 or proposing any revisions to the criteria or standard before such date…H.R. 4775 would also amend the Clean Air Act by modifying the review cycle for criteria pollutant NAAQS from a 5-year review cycle to a 10-year review cycle. A list of over 60 organizations in support of H.R. 4775 can be found HERE.

From Congressman Gosar’s Office: Most states are just beginning to adopt the 2008 ozone standards as the EPA didn’t announce implementation guidance and a final rule until March 6, 2015. Rather than allowing time for those standards to be implemented, the EPA is unilaterally seeking to dramatically lower the ozone standard to 70 parts per billion (pbb).

In November 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.J.Res.74, legislation that would block the EPA’s new 70 ppb standard utilizing the Congressional Review Act (CRA). This legislation currently has 82 cosponsors. The CRA allows Congress to utilize an expedited process to disprove of major rules and only requires a simple majority vote in both Houses to pass legislation. The text of the H.J.Res.74 can be found HERE.     

Congressman Gosar cosponsored H.R. 4775. The full text of Congressman Gosar’s speech in support of his amendment and the bill can be found HERE.

From Arizona Chamber Foundation and Prosper Foundation Policy Brief: The EPA’s new ozone standard of 70 ppb will be virtually impossible for Arizona to meet due to Arizona’s high levels of background, limited local sources, and unique geography….Implementation of the current rule in Arizona is not reasonable, based in sound science or achiev­able.

The cost and feasibility of compliance will simply prove too great for many businesses, forcing them to shut down, relocate operations, or forgo growth and expansion. This says nothing of the businesses that will simply choose not to come to Arizona due to the uncertainty of obtain­ing necessary permits to operate, an unfortunate consequence that has already come to fruition. The full text of the Arizona Chamber Foundation and Prosper Foundation Policy Brief can be found HERE.

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