In a letter to Administrator Jackson they said, "If finalized, these standards will impose unprecedented costs, ranging from $19 billion to $90 billion annually by your agency's own estimates, and result in new regulatory burdens for employers, businesses and already cash-strapped states and communities struggling to grow their local economies and create jobs. These would be the single most expensive environmental standards ever to be imposed by any Administration on the U.S. Economy."
The letter requests Administrator Jackson's participation in future committee hearings that will examine the standards and their economic consequences and asks her office to provide written responses to a series of questions concerning the development of the proposed ozone standards.
UCS said that according to the Clean Air Act -- and reinforced by a 2001 Supreme Court decision in Whitman v. American Trucking Associations (Nos. 99-1257, 99-1426) -- ground-level ozone standards must be set solely according to the findings of EPA scientists and the EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, an independent panel of experts. According to the law, states and localities can take economics into consideration during the implementation process. UCS said, "The Obama administration promised in 2009 to revisit an unscientific Bush administration decision to define dangerous levels of ozone at 75 parts per billion. That decision, which was later challenged in court, disregarded public health scientists' finding in 2007 that only a standard of 60 to 70 parts per billion was scientifically justifiable. In 2010, the EPA issued a proposed rule in that range. However, a final rule with a specific numerical standard has been repeatedly delayed." [See WIMS 12/9/10].
Access a release from House Republicans and link to the complete letter (click here). Access a release from UCS with links to related information (click here). Access EPA's ground-level ozone regulatory website for complete background (click here). [#Air]