The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced recently that the agency will delay implementation of the 2015 ozone standard of 70 parts per billion. The agency is now expected to issue a final determination of noncompliance areas by late 2018.
The move is a win for much of the business community who only recently received implementation guidance from the previous administration on complying with the lowered standard set in 2008. Delaying implementation of the 2015 action prevents businesses from being forced to simultaneously work towards complying with two different standards.
The Ohio Chamber submitted comments in 2013 opposing a tightening of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards and has supported efforts since by the U.S. Congress to reign in executive authority over air rules and provide the regulated community with predictability and fairness. Ohio’s air continues to improve and the Ohio Chamber has long urged U.S. EPA to recognize this when addressing air quality.
To fully address the possibility of working to comply with two standards, the Ohio Chamber continues to urge U.S. EPA and Congress to scrap the 2015 standards until businesses have been given reasonable time to bring their operations into compliance with the 2008 rules. The uncertainty surrounding the two standards has the potential to chill economic growth and hamper economic investment in Ohio.
Should the federal government fail to address the likely harm caused by the 2015 standards, however, U.S. EPA has created a map to identify areas expected to face additional pollution controls.
For additional information on U.S. EPA’s announcement, feel free to contact the Ohio Chamber.