DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Pete Olson
Sent By: Richard.England@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 4799
Date: 6/30/2014

Dear Colleague,
Every state is responsible for its own pollution under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. However, there are certain sources of pollution beyond a state’s control. This can include naturally occuring and foreign pollution (as addressed by my other recent clean air bill, HR 4957), but another major source is pollution that blows across state lines from one state to its neighbors. EPA has tried on several occasions to regulate interstate pollution, first under the Bush Administration and now under President Obama with the Cross State Air Pollution Rule or CSAPR.
CSAPR was initially thrown out by a federal court but has been revived by the Supreme Court. As part of that decision, the court found that the text of the Clean Air Act as currently written gives EPA sweeping power to impose rules on states before they have had a reasonable chance to draft their own compliance plans. This will be important now and in the future, as each new air quality standard will require revisions to the transport rule.
Two simple changes to the Clean Air Act, being introduced as the Clean Air Fairness Act of 2014, would help states chart their own course and improve air quality without fear of retroactive penalties from the EPA:
First, CAFA 2014 would prevent EPA from throwing states into a clean air rule late in the rulemaking (as happened to Texas) without an opportunity to question the regulation. This is accomplished by mandating that states be given notice and opportunity for comment on air transport rules.
Second, CAFA 2014 supports states right by giving them the chance to draft their own State Implementation Plans, instead of facing a federally-mandated EPA plan. The Court found that the Clean Air Act as written allows EPA to jumpstart the federal rulemaking process by mandating that states undertake an almost impossible modeling process if they don’t want one designed by EPA. This applies to both the CSAPR and any future air regulations on interstate pollution.
For more information or to cosponsor HR 4799, please contact Richard England (richard.england@mail.house.gov) in my office.
Very respectfully,
Pete Olson
Member of Congress