Top Ohio Officials Support Businesses in the Battle over National Ozone Standards

As discussed in a previous post, the US EPA is proposing a more restrictive national standard for ozone emissions that would place vastly more burdensome regulations on Ohio. The Ohio Chamber submitted official comments opposing a more stringent standard that would do little to improve public health or safety, and would have particularly harmful results on the economic opportunities of real working people and Ohio’s economy. Thankfully our concerns are supported by other key officials.

Attorney General Mike DeWine joined 13 other AGs in a letter opposing the proposal of a more restricted ozone standard. He also submitted comments independently that highlight the specific concerns of Ohio businesses and the current regulatory climate. He argues that a reduced standard for ozone emissions is unjustified based on existing research of its effects on public health. He goes on to describe the various reasons the new lower standards would be, “detrimental to Ohio’s economy and to family budgets across our State”.

Similarly, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor sent a letter to the US EPA describing Ohio’s balanced approach to all new regulations, “led by the state’s Common Sense Initiative,” which her office oversees. Lt. Gov. Taylor also notes that, “the state and businesses should work in partnership to ensure a strong regulatory system promoting compliance, not punishment.” The Ohio Chamber has strongly supported Gov. Kasich’s, Common Sense Initiative (CSI) as a way to ensure that rules and regulations take into consideration their financial impact on Ohio businesses. We applaud Lt. Governor Taylor and the Kasich administration and Gen. DeWine for their efforts to join with us in opposing US EPA’s severe ozone standards.

If the ozone rules are ultimately adopted, we hope the U.S. EPA will address the concerns raised by the Ohio Chamber and Ohio’s policy leaders in their final proposal, due October 1, 2015. States will then have until October 1, 2016 to submit recommendations for areas of nonattainment covered under the proposed standards, prior to the finalized rules becoming effective October 1, 2017. For more information about these rules please feel free to contact me.