American Petroleum Institute fired up over shortened review period for ozone regulation

The Obama administration received the ground-level ozone level regulation on Friday.
The Obama administration received the ground-level ozone level regulation on Friday.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is concerned that the Obama administration could be rushing an environmental regulation on ground-level ozone levels, which went to the White House for final review Friday.

API Senior Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman said the organization is concerned that the measure could potentially be the most expensive regulation in U.S. history, but has gone through a shortened review process.

“We are surprised the administration is limiting interagency review of what could be the most expensive regulation ever,” Feldman said. “EPA’s proposal to tighten the ozone standards would fall on top of current limits that are already improving air quality. The nation’s air is getting cleaner, and air quality will continue to improve as we implement the existing standards. We urge the administration to allow the current standards to continue working.”

Feldman cited EPA data that shows ground-level ozone levels in the U.S. have declined by 18 percent between 2000 and 2013. The rule is slated to go into effect October 1, giving the Obama just a month for a final review process that often takes new regulations two to three months to get through.

“EPA should listen to the many public officials who have expressed concern with this regulatory effort,” Feldman said. “As proposed, the new standards would impose unachievable emission reduction requirements on virtually every part of the nation, including rural and undeveloped areas. Even pristine areas with no industrial activity such as national parks could be out of attainment. Operating under such stringent requirements could stifle new investment and threaten jobs.”

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