(WASHINGTON) – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) offered support of the Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) Act, a bill introduced by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX) and Bob Latta (R-OH) to constrain the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from lowering the current ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This legislation seeks to avoid the imposition of extreme controls on ground level ozone that many natural habitats may not even be able to meet. AFPM President Charles T. Drevna commented:
“The CASE Act is a very important piece of legislation that serves to protect U.S. businesses and the jobs of millions of American citizens. If the current ozone NAAQS proposal is left intact, it will become the most expensive regulation in our nation’s history, costing U.S. businesses hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and resulting in millions of lost jobs.
“Lowering the current ozone NAAQS would do very little to improve the environment and leave communities across the United States in economic shambles. Many counties are having difficulty achieving compliance or are just beginning to implement the existing standard. Moving the goal post now will only serve to deliver the final blow to their economic survival.”
The United States has reduced ozone levels by 30 percent since 1980. That trend will continue without lowering the ground level ozone standard further, since counties and states across the nation just began implementing a new standard earlier this year after a lengthy court battle that lasted since 2008, when the rule was finalized.
In addition, AFPM will file comments today to EPA on the Proposed Rulemaking: National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone. In the comments, AFPM detailed the investments made by industry, to-date, which have already provided significant air quality improvements:
“Like many industrial sectors, AFPM members will be impacted by this rulemaking as a result of their manufacturing activities. AFPM members, however, have also made large investments in efforts to improve air quality in the United States; the refining industry alone spent nearly $20 billion to reduce sulfur from gasoline and diesel fuel to comply with “Tier 2” and Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel standards. These actions, in combination with new vehicle emission technology, have resulted in substantial reductions in ozone precursors. AFPM members also have continuing obligations to address requirements for low Reid Vapor Pressure gasoline, including specially-blended fuels required under State Implementation Plans to assist local air pollution control efforts. Furthermore, AFPM members have and will be making investments to comply with new “Tier 3” fuel standards taking effect in 2017 that are intended to allow automobiles to reduce non-methane organic and nitrogen oxides emissions by an additional 80 percent. In addition, AFPM members have and will be making investments to comply with new regulatory requirements, including CAA section 112 requirements to comply with Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT), standards currently being reviewed for possible revision, the Boiler and Process Heater MACT standard and the Clean Power Plan rules.
“These efforts have contributed to and will continue to contribute to substantial local and national air quality benefits. Overall, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants in the United States have been reduced by 62 percent since 1980 despite vehicle miles traveled having increased by 95 percent over the same period. And AFPM members will continue to be subject to numerous requirements associated with the implementation of various National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), including requirements for the installation of reasonably available control technology (RACT).”