New Administration and Congress Provide Opportunities to Rein in Costly Ozone Regulations

 

Over the past eight years, the EPA issued numerous rules that have harmed businesses and done little, if anything, to benefit the environment.  One example is how the EPA administered ozone regulations. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA sets the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. Those counties and areas that fail to meet the standards are then designated as nonattainment which can result in significant penalties.

These designations make it difficult to attract new businesses, contribute to employers leaving the area and result in investment capital being diverted elsewhere. Counties that receive a nonattainment designation are also tarnished with a reputation of being an unhealthy community making it more difficult to attract residents.

Some states have been hit harder than others, such as Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s ozone problems are unfortunate artifacts of an outdated set of federal directives which rely on ozone monitors that lie along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Lake Michigan is known to be an “ozone cooker,” where transported pollutants collect and interact in sunlight to form ozone. Wisconsin’s riparian monitors pick up this transported ozone as it blows off the lake and before it dissipates moving inland. As a result, the ozone levels measured at these monitors are relatively high and do not represent air quality within these counties. This problem is exacerbated by EPA treating multiple counties in urban areas as a single air quality planning region whose attainment designation is tied to these shoreline monitors miles away.

With the new Trump Administration and Republican-controlled Congress, there is an opportunity to reverse course on EPA’s ozone regulations. Click here to read more.


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FROM THE CHART ROOM

Texas Blows Away Other States In Wind Electricity Generation In 2017

2017-wind-energy-prod.-by-leading-state-producers

Texas may be better known for expanses of oil rigs and pumpjacks, but the Lone Star State boasts a large and growing lead in wind-power generation too. More than half of the country’s wind-derived power comes from Texas and Oklahoma. The Energy Information Administration estimates that another 2.3 gigawatts of wind capacity is set to come online through September this year in Texas alone. For more incformation, click here.


 

 

Michael Best Strategies

Michael Best Strategies’ Energy Team

About Michael Best Strategies

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