The American Petroleum Institute (API) concurred with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently on a pending decision about expanding the Ozone Transport Region (OTR), saying expansion was unnecessary and not cost-effective.
API senior policy adviser Ted Steichen broached the matter during a hearing in Washington, D.C., testifying that API supports the EPA’s proposal to deny a particular portion of the 2013 Clean Air Act – the Section 176A Petition, an API release said.
“Significant progress has been made to improve the nation’s air quality through oil and natural gas industry investments and compliance with existing regulations,” Steichen said, the release said. “Expanding the reach of the rule could potentially burden refineries and other oil and natural gas development with millions of dollars in additional costs without any environmental benefits.”
According to the EPA, studies reveal that a very high percentage of all U.S. counties will already meet the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) by 2025 under current federal and state level regulations. The agency reported that ground level ozone actually declined by 17 percent between 2000 and 2015; additionally, the oil and natural gas industry has contributed $284 billion for the purpose of improving air quality over the past 27 years.
The OTR comprises a group of states in the northeastern U.S. required by law to comply with control measures for pollutants that form ozone.