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    Rutledge: EPA’s Proposed Ozone Rule is Harmful to the State of Arkansas

    March 18, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today she has submitted comments in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning its proposed revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone. The EPA’s proposed rule states that the agency is considering a standard somewhere between 65 and 70 parts per billion, but that it is also seeking comments regarding a standard as low as 60 parts per billion. Rutledge released the following statement:

    “I am very concerned that the proposed levels are unnecessary and unachievable, and would bring great harm to Arkansas through significant job losses and a lack of economic development opportunities. At the current standard of 75 parts per billion, only a small part of the state is not likely to meet the standard, but at the proposed 60 parts per billion, the entirety of the state would likely have trouble attaining such a standard.”

    Rutledge points out in the letter that the Clean Air Act does not require the standard be lowered every time it is reviewed but does require the EPA to review air quality standards every five years. The current level of 75 parts per billion was set in 2008.

    “So long as the standard is protective of human health and the environment, it can remain unchanged,” Attorney General Rutledge wrote.

    In addition to these comments, Rutledge and 13 other state attorneys general have sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy further explaining the harmful, negative impact the rule would have on states across the country.

    “The proposed rule will have a dramatic negative effect on the economic growth in the States, saddling increasingly heavy compliance costs on job creators – particularly in the manufacturing and industrial sectors,” the attorneys general wrote. “Thus, if promulgated, the proposed rule will hamper the creation and preservation of good-paying jobs in the States and quicken the movement of such jobs overseas.”

    The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

    On Feb. 26, Rutledge appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Subcommittee on the Interior to offer testimony on the impact of this proposed rule, and several others, from the EPA. Click here for a copy of Rutledge’s opening statement or a video can be found here.

    A copy of the comments submitted to the EPA from the State of Arkansas can be found here.

    A copy of the letter sent by Rutledge and 13 other state attorneys general can be found here.

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