Wednesday, December 20, 2006

U.S. Chamber Wants EPA International Air Program

Dec 13: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on U.S. EPA to implement a comprehensive regulatory program to address the impact of air emissions emanating from outside the United States on domestic compliance with clean air rules. Bill Kovacs, Chamber vice president for Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs said, "As economies in China and India continue to grow, so will emissions resulting from this economic growth. Governments and businesses seeking to comply in good faith with clean air rules shouldn't be penalized because emissions migrate from overseas."

According to the Chamber, the Clean Air Act provides an answer to this dilemma. Under section 179B of the Clean Air Act [See link below], EPA must approve a state implementation plan (SIP) if the state establishes that it would be in compliance with EPA's air quality rules but for emissions emanating from outside the United States. Despite the existence of this provision for more than a decade, EPA has failed to develop a regulatory program to implement it.

In order to bring relief to states and businesses, the Chamber has filed a petition for rulemaking with the EPA, calling on the Agency to implement section 179B of the Clean Air Act and develop a comprehensive regulatory program that fully addresses the influence of air emissions emanating from outside the United States on domestic air quality and air quality compliance requirements. The program should also provide states with access to the data needed to make this demonstration.

Kovacs said, "Now is the time for EPA to set forth a process that states can use to demonstrate compliance with air quality standards without being penalized for emissions over which neither the states, nor localities, have control. The Chamber urges EPA to promptly implement this longstanding Clean Air Act provision today."

Access a release (
click here). Access the Chamber's 10-page petition (click here). Access the full text of the 1990 Amdendments to the Clean Air Act (click here, then search for "SEC. 179B." [*Air]

Note: During the holidays while we are on our annual break, we will be posting some articles from recent issues of our daily newsletters. We will return with timely daily posts each day on January 2, 2006.