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Freedom Fridays

August 31, 2018 – Fighting Radical Environmental Standards



What are ozone regulations?

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule entitled “2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone,” that forces counties to maintain a lower level of ozone concentration.  Counties that fail to stay below this level are designated to be in “nonattainment” status and become subject to an additional wave of costly regulations.  


What is the problem?

Like much of the Obama Administration’s agenda, this rule was nothing more than an executive fiat at the behest of radical environmental groups. 

Cities and counties that are in nonattainment status will be hit with permitting delays, which in turn, will disincentivize local investment in transportation and infrastructure projects.  As if it was not enough, the EPA’s Regulatory Impact Analysis indicates that the implementation of this rule will cost the taxpayers $1.4 billion in compliance costs.   

As an Arizonan, I know that high levels of ozone aren’t healthy for our children; however, we must question the federal government’s intent of this regulation.  The Arizona Republic’s Editorial Board even published an op-ed titled “Our view: Arizona can’t afford EPA’s ozone rules, arguing that “the EPA’s new ozone pollution standards will leave Arizona counties out of compliance and with few options.”

A recent federal court order has required the Trump Administration to implement the ozone rule despite their objections.  Now, it is ultimately up to Congress to stand up for our states and local governments and repeal this costly regulation.   


What am I doing about it?

I voted in favor of two bills that would address the regulatory burdens tied to the NAAQS for Ozone Rule:  The first is the REINS Act, that I cosponsored, which would restore congressional oversight authority by requiring approval of any regulation that would cost the U.S. economy more than $100 million.  The second is the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, which delays the implementation of the ozone NAAQS to 2024.  

I have also joined my House colleagues in writing a letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging them to repeal this rule in their annual appropriations package. 


What are they saying?

“Protecting Arizona’s air quality is of utmost importance to those of us in Arizona, and our state’s businesses and regulators have been working diligently to reduce our emissions so that all Arizonans enjoy healthy air. This is especially important in Arizona, where a significant portion of our economy relies on tourism—people want to visit Arizona because of our beautiful environment. This is real for us.”  Glenn Hamer, President and CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry