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U.S. Senate subcommittee holds hearing on ozone rule

Members consider options for local compliance
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 07:00
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Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a hearing titled “Examining Pathways Towards Compliance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ground-Level Ozone.”

During the hearing, the Subcommittee addressed S. 2882, Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016, and S. 2072, which would allow communities to use locally crafted solutions to improve air quality so that they can comply with federal standards. Both bills address the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new ozone standard, which dropped the acceptable amount of ozone from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion.

Witnesses included:

Glenn Hamer, president and CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Mark Raymond, commissioner and chair, Uintah County, Utah
Andrew Chesley, executive director, San Joaquin Council of Governments
Mary B. Rice, M.D., vice-chair, ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee, American Thoracic Society and assistant professor of medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Kurt Karperis, P.E., deputy executive officer, Air Resources Board
In her opening statement, Sen. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., Subcommittee chair and S. 2882 sponsor, explained the impact of the rule, saying, “Currently, there are dozens of counties …with the 2008 ozone standard, showing us that the EPA has yet to fully implement the previous standard. Moreover, the EPA drastically missed its implementation deadlines and failed to designate non-attainment areas under the 2008 standard until May 2012 … Instead of encouraging states and stakeholders by showing pathways towards compliance for the 2008 standard, the EPA decided to double-down and enable an even tougher standard before all areas had a chance to get into compliance.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, also spoke on behalf of his bill, S. 2072, detailing the provisions of the legislation that would “direct the EPA to implement a program allowing communities to enter into voluntary, cooperative agreements with the EPA to craft local solutions that improve air quality in compliance with federal standards.” Hatch explained that the bill would allow communities to improve air quality while avoiding a non-attainment designation and the associated negative economic consequences.

ASA has met with EPA professional staff and Capitol Hill leaders to continue to monitor and discuss the impact of the new ozone regulation on state implementation plans relative to vehicle emissions.

The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and collision professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry.

ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. To take advantage of the many benefits of membership in ASA, please visit www.ASAshop.org or call (817) 514-2900.

For additional information about ASA, including past media releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

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