U.S. Chamber to File Lawsuit Challenging EPA's Latest Ozone Standard

Press Release
December 23, 2015

EPA's Costly Rule Will Slow Economic Development and Burden Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joined by other national business groups, will file a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb).

“The EPA set an unattainable mandate with this new ozone standard that will slow economic growth opportunities,” said William Kovacs, senior vice president, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This new standard could halt progress in communities across the country as businesses are forced to slow expansion plans and outside development looks to other regions. The EPA has created a web of regulations that makes it almost impossible for businesses to succeed in this already tough economic climate.”

“Through no fault of their own, many communities have yet to meet EPA's 2008 ozone standard, making it almost impossible for them to realistically meet the new standard unless they make painful decisions that the public will likely not accept,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy. “As our ‘Grinding to a Halt’ series demonstrated, the EPA's new rule ‘moves the goalposts’ on states and communities working to achieve the 2008 rule. Moreover, numerous areas with growing populations and high levels of background ozone simply have no means of complying, and will be unfairly punished by EPA as a result.”

Leading up to this new regulation, the U.S. Chamber actively engaged local communities through forums examining how a lower ozone standard would threaten local jobs and economic growth. Panel discussions included government officials, business leaders and local Chambers of Commerce.

The Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy Grinding to a Halt reports provide an in-depth look at how EPA's tightened ozone standards could halt transportation funding and permitted. The series includes snapshot looks at the impact of the new regulations on Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Southern California.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.