Dec 4, 2012
Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) and Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) have sent a bipartisan letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson citing concerns for the stringent new air quality standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
States and local communities are in the process of implementing the current PM2.5 standards, but if these standards are reduced many counties that have already attained set benchmarks will fail to reach this more stringent range, resulting in a non-attainment designation of that area. The newly proposed standards will discourage commercial and industrial activity, threatening the economic growth of a multitude of local communities that have significantly reduced PM2.5 emissions over the last ten years, according to the EPA’s own analysis.
“The EPA’s proposed new standards could place a number of Ohio counties in ‘non-attainment’ making it a costly endeavor for existing businesses, and a death knell for any new development,” Congressman Latta warned. “The economic consequences of non-attainment are lost jobs, reduced tax revenues, and long-lasting EPA interference in local permitting decisions. We all want clean air and a safe environment, but when proceeding with new regulations we must look at how it will affect the economic growth and prosperity of that community,” said Latta.
Due to a legal agreement between the EPA and a number of environmental organizations, the agency is working under an expedited time frame to finalize its regulations, which are expected in mid-December. However, last May the agency acknowledged to a federal court that it would need until August 2013 to review comments from stakeholders regarding the proposed rule.
47 Members of Congress signed onto the letter, which was sent on Friday, November 30th, and can be found here. Earlier this year, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Administrator Jackson naming similar concerns.