EPA regulating to regulate?

The Madison County Record Jul. 17, 2011, 6:57am

To the Editor:

Overly burdensome EPA regulations are costing Americans money, jobs and contributing to rising energy prices. Since fiscal year 2010, ten new regulations promulgated by the agency, have accounted for over $23 billion in new costs to the American taxpayer. The most recent proposal to tighten ozone standards from 75 parts per billion to range between 60 to 70 parts per billion would cost an additional $19 billion to $90 billion a year by 2020.

According to a Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI study, this new standard could result in the loss of 7.3 million U.S. jobs by 2020. But the EPA continues to fight for these policies without considering or caring that employers are forced to make layoffs in order to afford
compliance costs. In fact, a few months ago, EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus told the House Environment and Economy Subcommittee that the EPA does not consider the impact on jobs when conducting economic analyses on their regulations.

Considering that Illinois ranks 49th in the nation in terms of job growth and economic recovery, we should be more than concerned that the federal agency responsible for regulating the way people power their homes and run their businesses do not consider the impact their regulations have on jobs.

Smog is primarily generated by traffic and activities in urban areas. Needless to say, Chicago has plenty of it as the EPA notes that it averaged 116 parts per billion between 2006 and 2008. Chicago and other areas around the state are still struggling to comply with the 1997 standard which is still not fully attained nationwide. Reducing the current standard to the lower end of 60 ppb would almost triple the number of counties deemed in non-attainment with the standard. It seems that EPA officials are getting too far ahead of themselves.

If the country is not able to meet current standards despite their best efforts, how can we reasonably expect to go any lower? The agency needs to be more practical and fair with their decision making. The current standard set in 2008 was based off of a mountain of research that concluded 75ppb to be a sufficient standard. According to the Clean Air Act, this level would be reviewed every five years.

The EPA doesn't want to wait five years and doesn't believe it needs any new data to tighten the standard. They are simply using old studies used to set the 2008 level - which was made law – to justify the lower level.

We need to stand against this proposal before Illinois is regulated out of business. This proposal will hurt both large and small manufacturers and will cost jobs by preventing manufacturers from expanding their facilities and growing their enterprise. Please join me in encouraging our legislative representatives to fight this proposal and help us grow economically and also help us to meet current environmental standards

John Aguilar
Former Commisioner, Illinois Liquor Control Board
Aurora, Ill.

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