GOP Lawmaker Says Native Americans Living 500 Years Ago Would Be Out Of Compliance With EPA Air Rules

Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart said that Obama-era smog regulations had “hosed” western U.S. states that struggle with high levels of naturally-occurring pollutants.

“Those of us in the West are kind of hosed by this whole thing,” Stewart told Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt during a Thursday hearing.

Stewart represents Salt Lake City and rural parts of Utah, which he says are burdened by air quality regulations they can’t meet. The Obama administration lowered ground-level ozone, or smog, standards from 75 to 70 parts per billion in 2015.

Stewart said the lower ozone standard is nearly impossible for some parts of Utah to meet because of episodes of naturally-occurring ozone during the summer and winter. Utah’s high elevation and unique geography make it prone to high levels of background ozone.

“These are very remote places and yet they are out of compliance with ozone, and there’s not a thing in the world they can do about it,” Stewart said.

“It’s not like there’s factories spewing or a lot of cars that are driving through there and creating the pollution and the particulate matter. It’s naturally-occurring,” he said. “We have these rural communities that are not compliant with ozone and can’t get compliant — there’s not a thing in the world they can do.”

“The Native Americans living there 500 years ago would have been not in compliance with the rules that have been proposed by the previous administration,” Stewart said.

Utah has struggled to come into compliance because of non-man-made sources of ozone pollutants from wildfires vegetation and animals. Utah also suffers from stratospheric intrusions that bring down atmospheric ozone during cold weather inversions.

Such intrusions can “can increase ground-level ozone concentrations by 20–40 ppb,” according to Utah regulators. The state also has to deal with ozone transported across the seas from Asia, furthering adding to compliance woes.

Indeed, a 2014 report by the right-leaning American Action Forum found an ozone standard set between 60 and 70 parts per billion would put 100 state and national parks out of compliance.

Utah joined a coalition of states suing the Obama administration to overturn the 2015 ozone rules. Pruitt was party to the suit as Oklahoma attorney general. In April, a federal court agreed to delay the ozone suit so EPA could review the rule.

Read more at Daily Caller

Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Absolutly true their cooking fires ceremonial fires the smoke signal fires would be in violation of draconian EPA regulations as well as Peace Pipe smoking would be banned by the FDA and Surgeon General

    • Avatar

      Sonnyhill

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      Spurwing, you forgot to mention the townsfolk with their torches demanding a lynching.

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    How much fact
    How much reason
    is necessary to abolish the counter-functional EPA ?

    Even if its demise would only rid the government of a pack of
    extremist leftist bureaucrats
    It would be justified.

    • Avatar

      Al

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      Pruitt has to drain his own swamp …. for starters.

      • Avatar

        Sonnyhill

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        Governor Pruitt rightly sued the EPA on the behalf of Oklahoma . I don’t believe that lawsuits are the sole tactical right of Democrats . They lost everything in November and they respond with incivility.I say feed them defeat until they choke on it.

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Al Gores swamp as well as Greenpeace and EDF swamps will take years to drain

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