Governor Snyder Speaks Out on Ozone NAAQS

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently sent a letter to President Obama urging a reevaluation of the EPA’s proposal to impose tighter regulations on ozone as part of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Governor Snyder writes:

“The proposed change fails to acknowledge the gains in human health and air quality from regulatory actions already in play and does not take into account that imposing more stringent standards could slow reductions in ozone and thwart growth in business investment. An antiquated law is driving this proposal, not uncontested scientific evidence.”

Governor Snyder also provided the President with a technical response to the proposed ozone rule from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). In this response, the MDEQ notes that the new ozone rule could have the unintended consequence of impairing the state’s ability to comply with other EPA rules. For instance, the ozone rule could prevent the siting of new natural gas power plants—and without these plants, Michigan may not be able to comply with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) or Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).

While Michigan is raising justifiable concerns about the ozone NAAQS proposal, the state has worked hard to meet NAAQS regulations. Earlier this year, the EPA reported that Michigan was fully meeting new requirements for small and large particulate matter (PM). Through advances in technology and investments by industry and citizens, Michigan air quality has improved in recent years.

Current NAAQS rules for ozone have also led to improved air quality, but investments and progress could be disrupted by new restrictions and regulatory uncertainty. As Governor Snyder writes…

“In an uncertain regulatory environment, businesses often will defer investments if they are unsure their investments will comply with future regulations. With less economic optimism, energy-efficient investments by businesses and purchases of more environmentally-friendly appliances and motor vehicles by consumers may be delayed, causing a counterproductive result.”