House Budget Bill Goes After One The Most Expensive EPA Rules Ever

House lawmakers have put forward a draft budget bill that pushes back the compliance deadlines for what’s been called one of the most expensive Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations ever crafted.

The budget bill not only cuts EPA’s 2018 budget by $528 million, it also stops “many harmful and unnecessary regulations that destroy economic opportunity and hinder job creation,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said in a statement Tuesday.

An Obama-era rule for ground-level ozone, or smog, is one targeted regulation. The bill allows states extra time to comply with the 2015 ozone regulation by giving governors until 2026 to submit plans on how they will meet stricter air quality standards.

EPA estimates show nearly every U.S. county will be able to comply with the 2015 ozone rule by then using existing plans, so no extra regulatory compliance mechanisms are needed.

That would be a big win for energy-producing states and western states that struggle with high natural levels of ozone.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt already delayed action on the 2015 standard for one year, to 2018. Pruitt was also tasked by Congress to create an Ozone Cooperative Compliance Task Force to see if more flexibility can be given to states.

EPA estimated the ozone rule would cost $2.2 billion, but yield up to $8 billion in public health benefits, largely through preventing as many as 660 premature deaths every year.

But a 2014 study by the National Association of Manufacturers found 65 parts per billion ozone standard would cost $1.13 trillion from 2017 to 2040. EPA only lowered ozone limits to 70 parts per billion, but NAM still thinks it will cost way more than EPA projects.

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Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    rakooi

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    Return to the FUTURE PAST !
    Now that we have a lobotomized Senate & House,
    and a tottering old demented Don in the White House,
    we can all BREATH more deeply because past Congresses with brains thought about what they were doing…..
    *
    Why do we have an EPA, anyway?
    1. Air
    Before the government began to rein in pollution from smokestacks and tailpipe, dense, dark and even choking smog was a frequent occurrence in American cities and towns.
    .
    In 1948,
    spectators at a football game in Donora, Pennsylvania couldn’t see the players or the ball because of smog from a nearby coal-fired zinc smelter; 20 people died.
    .
    In Los Angeles in the 1960s, smog often hid the mountains.
    .
    The Clean Air Act of 1970 gave EPA the authority to regulate harmful air pollutants.
    .
    One of the most dramatic success stories was lead, which was widely used in paint but also in gasoline to improve engine performance.
    .
    EPA estimated that more than 5,000 Americans were dying every year from heart disease linked to lead poisoning; many children were growing up with diminished IQ.
    .
    ** By 1974, the EPA began a phase out of lead from gasoline. The gradual effort took until 1995 to completely end the practice, but the result has been a measurable 75 percent drop in blood lead levels in the public.
    .
    Thanks to Clean Air Act rules,
    the levels of many other toxic substances in our air, such as mercury, benzene, and arsenic, have also dropped substantially.
    .
    A major update to the law in 1990 allowed EPA to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants, the main cause of acid rain. Life has begun to come back in acidified lakes in the Adirondacks.

    Complying with EPA’s air pollution rules has been costly
    —they’re the biggest burden the agency imposes on the economy.

    But the federal Office of Management and Budget, analyzing data collected from 2004 to 2014, estimates that the health and other benefits of the rules exceeded the costs
    **
    The Cuyahoga River
    was once one of the most polluted rivers in the United States as represented by the multitude of times it has caught fire, a recorded number of thirteen starting in 1868.
    .
    The most potent blaze occurred in 1952 which caused over $1.3 million in damages however,
    the most fatal fire happened in 1912 with a documented five deaths. The 1969 fire, which did not incur maximum damages or fatally wound any citizen, was the most covered incident occuring on the river.
    This was in part because of the developing precedence that sanitation held over industrial actions; the United States was becoming more eco-aware.
    .
    Also, due to the shift from industry to technology, waste dumping to recycling Time Magazine produced an article about the incident. This brought mass amount of attention to the Cleveland area
    and added pressure for hygienic regulation.

    Inspired by the 1969 river fire,
    Congress was determined to resolve the issue of land pollution, not just in Cleveland, but throughout the United States.
    .
    The legislature passed the National Environment Protection Act (NEPA) which was signed into law on January 1, 1970. This act helped establish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which would be given the duties to manage environmental risks and regulate various sanitary-specific policies.
    .
    One of the first legislations that the EPA put-forth was the Clean Water Act (1972), which mandated that all rivers throughout the United States be hygienic enough to safely allow mass amounts of swimmers and fish within the water by 1983. Since the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has invested over $3.5 billion towards the purification of the river and the development of new sewer systems. There is a projection that over the next thirty years the city of Cleveland will further endow over $5 billion to the upkeep of the wastewater system.

    The river is now home to about sixty different species of fish, there has not been another river fire since 1969, and yearly new waste management programs develop to ensure the sanitation of Cleveland’s waterways….”

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    • Avatar

      John

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      Can someone remove this troll?

      Reply

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