The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a hearing Tuesday titled, “Making Implementation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ground-Level Ozone Attainable: Legislative Hearing on S. 263 and S. 452.”
S. 263, introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., would amend the Clean Air Act by revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) program to allow more time to implement the 2015 standards.
The bill would also change the review cycle for criteria pollutant NAAQS from a five-year review cycle to a 10-year review cycle, pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) next review of ozone NAAQS to Oct. 26, 2025. Similarly, S. 452, introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., would delay the enforcement and implementation of the 2015 national ambient air quality standards for ozone.
- Misael Cabrera, P.E., director, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
- Ahron Hakimi, executive director, Kern Council of Governments
- Kyle Zeringue, senior vice president, business development, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
- Shawn Garvin, secretary, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
- Dr. Monica Kraft, M.D., past president of the American Thoracic Society, University of Arizona College of Medicine
During the hearing, members’ opinions were generally split down party lines. In support of her bill, S. 263, Capito said, “In West Virginia and across the country, states have suffered job losses and economic devastation under the regulatory burdens of the previous administration. The Ozone Standards Implementation Act will provide more clarity, more regulatory certainty and ease the economic burden of never-ending overreach.”
Conversely, subcommittee ranking member Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., opposed both measures. In his opening statement, Carper explained, “For decades, we have known there is a link between smog – also known as ozone pollution – from uncontrolled power plants, automobiles and other sources to serious health problems such as asthma attacks, heart attacks and other respiratory ailments. More recently, medical professionals have also linked ozone pollution to early deaths … The bills that are the subject of today’s hearing direct EPA and the states to ignore the health science for 10 years before having to think about cleaning up.
The Subcommittee took no action on the bills. ASA says these standards are critically important for ASA members as states develop emissions plans and relative automotive policies
To learn more, visit ASA’s legislative website at TakingTheHill.com.