Saturday, August 19, 2017

House holds hearing on EPA’s proposed ozone regulation

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)

The House subcommittees on Energy and Power and on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a hearing today on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed ozone regulation and its potential to affect manufacturing.

The proposed changes to the national ambient air quality standards would reduce acceptable levels of gound-level ozone from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to between 60 and 70 ppb, a move that has some states and industry groups protesting the potential affects on the economy. The EPA’s cost estimates for a range of 65 to 70 ppb, excluding California, is between $3.9 billion and $15 billion, while a 60 ppb standard is estimated to incur costs of $39 billion.

“The reason given for adopting a more stringent ozone rule relates to healthcare, which is vitally important,” said Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-TX), who chairs the Energy and Power Subcommittee. “But the EPA today is a lot different than when this Clean Air Act was first administered, and it’s important that we understand the costs.”

Witnesses at the hearing included industry, medical and legal representatives, including National Association of Manufacturers Vice President Ross Eisenberg, WD-40 Division President for the Americas Michael Freeman, and Gregory Diette of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who testified on behalf of the American Thoracic Society.