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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4775 – Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016

June 07, 2016


(House Rules)

(Rep. Olson, R-TX, and 43 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016, because it would significantly undermine Clean Air Act (CAA) protections, would block efforts to reduce harmful ground-level ozone pollution in communities across the country, and could delay future scientific reviews for other harmful pollutants.

Ozone pollution, also known as smog, has been linked to a range of adverse health effects which can lead to missed work and school days, increased hospital admissions, and premature deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular causes. H.R. 4775 would delay implementation of the 2015 ozone health standard that will otherwise improve air quality for millions of Americans. This would result in people living in areas with unhealthy ozone levels for at least an additional 10 years. The bill also would unnecessarily extend deadlines for science-based reviews of all National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) from 5 to 10 years—delaying for 5 years the requirement that the latest science inform our air pollution standards. Further, the bill would make other detrimental changes to the NAAQS core protections—most significantly allowing a fundamental shift away from the principle that the standards should be based solely on public health and welfare considerations. As a result, H.R. 4775 would jeopardize progress toward cleaner air and significantly delay health benefits worth billions of dollars for millions of Americans, including those most vulnerable—children, older adults, and people with asthma.

As required by the CAA, the Environmental Protection Agency sets primary air quality standards that protect public health with an "adequate margin of safety," including the health of at-risk groups. These science-based air standards, which undergo rigorous public review and comment, have a proven record of success. They have resulted in cleaner air which has helped all Americans live longer, healthier lives in a growing economy. In fact, since 1970, emissions of key pollutants have decreased by nearly 70 percent while the economy has tripled in size.

H.R. 4775 would undermine the vitally important environmental and health protections of the CAA. If the President were presented with H.R. 4775, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4775 – Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project