Arizona will fail clean-air requirements if different states aren’t 'good neighbors'

Arizona is doing all it will possibly to enhance air high quality however is not going to meet
federal requirements so long as air pollution from different jurisdictions can
drift throughout its borders, the director of the Arizona Division of
Environmental High quality testified Wednesday.

Karen Peters stated the Environmental Safety Company’s proposed
“Good Neighbor Plan,” to restrict emissions in states whose air pollution
impacts downwind states, is “essential” to addressing air pollution in
downwind states like Arizona. She pointed to areas like Yuma, which
generates little or no smog by itself nevertheless it nonetheless out of clean-air

“Yuma is closely impacted by ozone transport from California and Mexico,” Peters stated in testimony
to the Senate Setting and Public Works Committee. “There may be
just about nothing that may be achieved when it comes to native emission reductions
to scale back ozone air pollution within the Yuma nonattainment space.”

The identical is true within the Phoenix-Mesa space, the place Peters stated there
are “only a few, if any, remaining emission reductions out there” to assist
the area attain clean-air requirements.

However critics on the listening to
known as the plan an costly and heavy-handed try to pressure federal
coverage on states and stated it could pressure companies and energy crops to
shut down, what one witness known as “form of capturing ourselves within the

“It threatens U.S. manufacturing, together with the U.S. forest merchandise business,” stated Paul Noe,
vice chairman of public coverage for the American Forest and Paper
Affiliation. “In the end, it is a menace to the American employee – males
and ladies with high-paying, high-skilled manufacturing jobs, each rural
and concrete, in crimson and blue states.”

The Good Neighbor Plan
requires important reductions on ozone-forming emissions from energy
crops and industrial services in 23 states whose unhealthy air is carried
to different states. Along with energy crops fired by fossil fuels, it
would additionally apply to services manufacturing iron, metal, cement, paper,
glass, and petroleum and coal merchandise, to pure gasoline transmission and
steel ore mining.

A lot of the states affected by the plan could be topic to each
energy plant and industrial restrictions, however California would solely be
topic to industrial emission limits whereas Alabama, Minnesota and
Wisconsin would solely must rein in energy crops.

Arizona isn’t presently one of many states that will be topic to
the rule, however an EPA spokesperson stated Wednesday that “additional evaluation
is warranted” on whether or not it is going to apply to the state.

Dr. David Hill, a American Lung Affiliation board member, pushed again
in opposition to critics who cited the financial prices of the brand new regulation,
claiming that it might truly spur extra financial exercise by
diminished well being burdens.

“The EPA has projected that it’ll forestall untimely deaths, that it
will keep away from hospitalizations, that it’ll lower bronchial asthma exacerbations,” Hill testified.

“College absences will likely be decreased by over 400,000, and when youngsters
miss faculty, mother and father miss work. Over 25,000 misplaced work days will likely be
prevented,” he stated. “So there will likely be important well being care and
financial advantages to instituting the rule.”

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., acknowledged issues about prices of the
plan, however stated they had been outweighed by the well being advantages. The
problem for lawmakers, he stated, is to “discover that candy spot as a result of
the chance elements to our inhabitants and value elements to our inhabitants
point out that the federal authorities right this moment isn’t finishing up its

However Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., stated she worries that the rule would
pressure energy crops to shut, eradicating greater than 14,000 megawatts of
electrical energy era from the system, which might “cripple” reasonably priced
energy for the nation.

“The untimely compelled closure of coal-fired energy crops on this
nation is a hazard to American power safety and grid reliability,”
Lummis stated. “For that reason alone – to not point out the 90,000 direct
coal mining jobs in 26 states, together with Arizona, Oregon and
Pennsylvania, simply to call a couple of – this administration should reverse

Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., countered with an financial argument for the
plan, pointing to Yuma County, which is bordered on the west by
California and the south by Mexico. The county of fewer than 100,000
individuals might face stringent financial limitations if its neighbors are
not held accountable for the air pollution they’re inflicting within the county,
he stated.

“As a result of the world exceeds the EPA’s requirements for ozone, there are
limits imposed on the area’s financial progress,” Kelly stated. Of the
air pollution in Yuma, “10% comes from someplace inside Arizona, however
mainly nothing comes from Yuma County.”

Peters stated about 40% of the ozone within the Phoenix space was generated
inside the state however that the remaining comes from different sources, both
pure background sources or different states and even international locations.

Kelly was not in a position to reply Lummis’ query about how a lot
air pollution is perhaps coming from Chinese language manufacturing. However he stated he
wouldn’t be stunned if it was true, calling on his expertise as an
astronaut when he stated he was in a position to see sand and smog drifting throughout
nationwide borders.

Peters stated there are issues that may be achieved to assist cut back native
air pollution, however lots of these issues usually are not inside the state’s
jurisdiction, a scenario she finds “irritating.” Regardless of Maricopa
County failing to satisfy ozone requirements, Peters stated the state made some progress in enhancing air high quality.

“Ozone emissions have gone down during the last 20 years within the
Maricopa space,” Peters stated after the listening to. “However , time is
not on our aspect. We have to do extra sooner.”