Legislation for more reasonable National Ambient Air Quality Standards implementation gains supports

Published on April 19, 2016 by Jessica Limardo

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, held a hearing on Thursday to discuss more reasonable implementation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The hearing, titled “H.R. 4775, Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016,” reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new revisions to the NAAQS regulations for ground-level ozone. Members discussed the practical challenges to implementing the 2008 standards and expressed further difficulty meeting the new EPA standards set last year.

“As the lead state challenging the 2015 ozone standard in the courts, Arizona does not support 70 parts per billion (ppb) as the appropriate ozone standard,” Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Miseal Cabrera said. “We believe that the new standard is simply not achievable in many area of our state.”

Alan Matheson, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Control, commented on the difficulty of meeting the EPA standards as well, and said the organization did not give sufficient time to meet the 2008 guidelines, let alone supply the support necessary to meet the new regulations.

Members also expressed support for H.R. 4775, which would allow states more time and support in implementing the NAAQS regulations, including assistance for the financial consequences of implementing the new ozone standards.