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THERIPONADVANCE: McCarthy co-introduces bill to help ease burden of new ozone standards on communities

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UNITED STATES, March 21, 2016 | comments

McCarthy co-introduces bill to help ease burden of new ozone standards on communities

By Ripon Advance News Service  |  March 21, 2016

Kevin McCarthy

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) co-introduced legislation on Friday that would reform new EPA ozone standards and prevent the agency from introducing new standards without guidelines in the future.

The Ozone Standards Implementation Act, H.R. 4775, would enable communities and states to focus on meeting pre-existing standards. U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) authored the bipartisan bill, while McCarthy was joined as an original cosponsor by Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and U.S. Reps. Bill Flores (R-TX), Bob Latta (R-OH) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX).

“When the administration’s air regulations result in even Yosemite Park struggling to reach compliance, it is time to step back and survey the common sense of this regulation,” McCarthy said. “In California’s Central Valley and other communities across America, significant advances have led to cleaner air. But the Obama administration’s regulation will saddle our communities with punitive fines for failing to meet a near-impossible task of complying with a standard so unrealistic it is approaching naturally occurring background ozone levels. The EPA knows that technology to achieve this new standard in California does not exist.”

Under the bill, the EPA would be prohibited from issuing new standards without also issuing guidelines to help states and communities comply with them.

“Cleaning up the air we breathe and economic development are not mutually exclusive,” McCarthy said. “Unfortunately, the new EPA standard doesn’t consider this and creates a Catch-22. This bill makes the right reforms, without sacrificing air quality that will help our communities be healthy and thrive.”

The legislation would also require that technological achievability and economic feasibility be taken into account when communities are working toward compliance with ozone standards.

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