The Ohio Chamber of Commerce recently testified in front of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee as an interested party on a resolution to urge the U.S. Congress and the president to eliminate Ohio’s air compliance tool known as E-Check (House Resolution 247).
Ohio’s use of E-Check as a condition for registering motor vehicles in certain counties stretches back to 1993 when Ohio was forced to respond to a tightened federal Clean Air Act. The Ohio Chamber has supported its use as a cost-effective means of meeting federal air quality standards. E-Check has worked through the past two decades to guard against restricting the appropriate use of this extremely important compliance tool and forcing damaging emission reductions onto Ohio businesses.
In 2015, U.S. EPA once again changed the definition of what “clean” air means. The agency ignored Ohio’s 30-year record of improved air quality and again lowered the ozone limit, this time to 70 parts per billion, all while knowing that Ohio only recently came into compliance with standards that were tightened in the last decade. The industrial Midwest, including Ohio, is one of the areas of the country most negatively impacted by the 2015 rule-making.
While we certainly would like to see the 2015 standards reversed, retaining the use of cost-effective compliance tools such as E-Check remains vital. If the state discontinues the use of E-Check while still having to comply with the 2015 standards, economic growth and the ability to create jobs would be threatened by increased environmental controls on the business community.
As committee hearings continue on HR 274, the Ohio Chamber urges the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to remember the necessity of retaining Ohio’s ability to implement cost-effective compliance tools such as E-Check in the face of ever tightening federal air quality standards.