From: The Honorable Pete Olson
Sent By: richard.england@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 4775
Date: 4/8/2016

Dear Colleague,

In recent months, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a sweeping new rule establishing lower nationwide standards for ground-level ozone.  While the United States has made important strides in reducing ozone levels in recent years, many sources are beyond our control, as naturally occurring ozone and emissions from foreign sources as far away as China can dramatically impact our air quality. That is partly why reducing ozone levels in many areas can be incredibly expensive, and we have limited technology available to control it.  Despite that, it falls on local communities to comply with new standards or become subject to costly federal penalties.

In addition to the recently finalized new standards, states are also just beginning to implement the 2008 ozone standards that EPA did not provide implementing regulations for until March of last year.  Because both standards remain in effect, states currently face the prospect of implementing two ozone standards at the same time. Further, states are also increasingly confronting practical challenges under these rules. This has included failure to issue timely implementation and guidance when standards are revised, difficulty in being exempted from pollution outside of local control, compliance measures that may not be technologically feasible, and inflexible laws requiring review at least every five years.

To address these concerns, a bipartisan group of Members have joined me in introducing HR 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act.  HR 4775 would not repeal the existing ozone standards, but it would provide states more time and flexibility to implement those standards on an efficient and realistic timeline, and address other technical implementation issues facing states under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards Program. A full description can be found in this Energy and Commerce Committee releaseand related fact sheet.

We would welcome you as a cosponsor.

For more information or if you would like to cosponsor this bill, please contact Richard England (Richard.England@mail.house.gov) on my staff.

Very respectfully,

Pete Olson

Member of Congress