EPA Ozone Regulations, Moving Forward
On October 1st, just under the wire for a court-ordered deadline, the EPA released a new ruling to further reduce ground level smog, lowering the allowable ozone limits from 75 parts per billion (ppb), down to 70 ppb. Environmental groups immediately criticized the action, pointing out that a year ago, a scientific panel had recommend that the limits be placed between 60 ppb and 70 ppb. In their view, the EPA had caved to industry interests by setting the new standard at the upper limit of that recommendation. On the other hand, business interests criticized the new action as well, with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) calling the new standard “overly burdensome, costly and misguided.”
ERA, our members, and our customers have been down this road before. Ongoing EPA regulations governing ozone limits have changed the way we do business, especially in California and, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeastern states, where VOC limits impact roofing adhesives, sealants and primers. The new, even lower standards must be implemented at state and local levels, and the EPA itself estimates that it will be at least another ten years before those jurisdictions will be able to meet the more stringent requirements. If the past is any guide to the future, we face another round of new – and potentially confusing - regulations at the state and local level.
ERA has a track record of informing our members and their customers about shifting VOC regulations. We are proud that our website has become the “go-to” source for information about new standards and deadlines, especially in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states governed by the Ozone Transport Commission. We are equally as proud that many of those states turned to ERA for information about the impact of pending regulations on industry practices, and frequently modified deadlines to accommodate the needs of our industry.
Our commitment is to continue our leadership in this area, keeping you informed about changing VOC regulations, and offering input to local regulators. At the same time, ERA members recognize their responsibility to work for continuous improvements in our products’ environmental performance. We will continue to offer reliable and high-quality products to help you meet these new VOC standards and meet the needs of your customers. We’ll keep you posted about both our innovative new products and any pending regulatory actions. And we urge you to continue to use our website as a valuable source of information in a changing regulatory environment.