House Approves Bill To Delay EPA Ozone Rule Compliance

Date: June 13, 2016 Last Edit: June 14, 2016

Bill Would Give States More Flexibility To Phase In Rule

The House voted, 234-177, to approve a bill to delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone standards for at least eight years, defying a White House veto pledge. The AP reports the EPA “plans to implement the ozone rule over a 20-year period that gives the most-polluted states until 2037 to fully comply,” but Republicans said the “series of interim deadlines set to begin this fall are difficult for states to meet.” Rep. Pete Olson, the sponsor of the bill, said, “States have worked hard over the last few decades to reduce ozone levels and improve air quality. My bill provides needed flexibility so that states and localities can adequately achieve new, lower standards with time for compliance.” The Hill reports the bill “would also slow down the review schedule for EPA air pollutant rules and give regulators the chance to consider cost — not just public health impacts — when reviewing those rules.” Republican backers of the bill say it is “necessary to prevent local governments from falling into ‘nonattainment,’ a designation that they were unable to reduce ozone levels below those set by the EPA.” The backers say nonattainment would hurt employment, as would “the steps necessary for businesses to reduce their pollution fast enough to bring down ozone levels.”

What Comes Next

The Senate is unlikely to approve the measure as a stand-alone bill. Senate backers may try to add the provisions delaying implementation of the ozone proposals to an energy policy bill that is currently stalled.

What This Means For Small Businesses

The House bill is an encouraging step for small businesses whose owners worry about the impact the regulations would have, including dry cleaners, gas stations, manufacturers, printing operations, and bakeries. Small businesses would benefit from the delay, which would give states more flexibility in implementing the ozone reduction regulations.

Additional Reading

The Daily Caller also reports on the story.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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