Washington, D.C. – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee today held a hearing to examine concerns over the science EPA used for its final National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. Earlier this month, the EPA announced it will tighten its ozone standard from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb.
Chairman Smith: “The EPA’s ozone standards are impossible to meet in some places where the ozone level that occurs naturally would be above the standard set by the agency. Many communities would be responsible for ozone that they do not have the ability to control. A non-attainment designation under the Clean Air Act has serious consequences. It could cause new employers to not move into the state. Businesses would be forced to deal with additional burdensome permitting and compliance obligations, which slow expansion and economic development. Ultimately, good jobs will be lost in these areas.
“I am also concerned that the EPA’s justification for this rule is not based on good science. Good science should dictate policy. However, it appears that the EPA conveniently cherry-picks the science that supports its extreme agenda. This is not sound science; it is science fiction.”
Witnesses discussed impacts of the ozone regulations on local communities and addressed concerns over the technical feasibility and costs to meet these standards. States must individually develop a plan to comply with the new standard and bring nonattainment areas into attainment.
At the reduced ozone standard, over 60 percent of the costs of the program are based on technology that does not currently exist. The EPA assumes this technology will somehow be developed to implement their new regulations.
Witnesses also said that the stricter ozone standard is unnecessary. According to EPA’s own data, since 1980 ozone levels have decreased by 33 percent. They noted that the air today is significantly cleaner and will continue to improve thanks to new technologies.
The following witnesses testified:
The Honorable Jeffrey Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
Mr. Seyed Sadredin, Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
Dr. Elena Craft, Senior Health Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
Dr. Michael Honeycutt, Director, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Toxicology Division.
For more information on today’s hearing, including witness testimony and the hearing webcast, visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.