1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Hall, Bean, Browning, Burton, Canon, Carlton, Carter, Cuevas, Dearing, Dickerson, Farris, Ferris, Gollott, Gunn, Hamilton, Harvey, Hawks, Hewes, Horhn, Huggins, Jackson, Johnson (19th), Jordan (18th), Kirby, Lee, Little, Mettetal, Minor, Moffatt, Nunnelee, Posey, Rayborn, Robertson, Scoper, Smith, Stogner, Thames, Tollison, White (29th), Woodfield
Senate Concurrent Resolution 577
(As Adopted by Senate and House)
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZING CONGRESS TO STRONGLY URGE THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) TO REAFFIRM THE EXISTING NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARDS (NAAQS) FOR OZONE AND PARTICULATE MATTER, TO SUPPORT EPA EFFORTS TO GATHER NECESSARY PARTICULATE MONITORING DATA AND TO PROVIDE FOR ADEQUATE RESEARCH, AND TO REQUIRE THE EPA TO FULFILL ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE SMALL BUSINESS REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT FAIRNESS ACT (SBREFA) AND THE REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ACT.
WHEREAS, in December 1996, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual report on air quality trends which shows that over the past 25 years, major air pollutants have decreased nationally by almost thirty percent (30%) and that air quality improved for all six criteria pollutants, including particulate matter and ozone, during the 1990's, compared to the 1980's; and
WHEREAS, the federal Clean Air Act requires EPA to review at five-year intervals the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS); and
WHEREAS, as a result of its review, EPA published a proposed rule on December 13, 1996, establishing a more stringent ozone standard and a new, more stringent standard for fine particulate matter (particulate matter smaller than two and one-half micrometers in diameter (PM 2.5)); and
WHEREAS, EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, an independent group of experts, has stated that there is no scientific consensus on the level of the particulate matter standard and that more research is needed on the health impacts of fine particulate matter; and
WHEREAS, EPA has provided no scientific proof that establishing a more stringent ozone standard or a new, more stringent standard for fine particular matter would improve public health, but these proposed standards will assuredly impose significant new resource and cost burdens on businesses, the State of Mississippi, local governments and ultimately, the consumer; and
WHEREAS, the State of Mississippi recognizes that cleaner air has long-term economic and quality of life benefits for the state and its citizens and supports National Ambient Air Quality Standards that are protective of the public health and that are based on sound science; and
WHEREAS, the air quality in all 82 counties in the State of Mississippi meets or exceeds the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards, including the standards for ozone and particulate matter; and
WHEREAS, the proposed new ozone standard will result in the creation of areas in the state which do not meet the standard, resulting in additional emission controls in these areas, thus imposing significant economic, administrative and regulatory burdens on the State of Mississippi, its citizens, local governments and businesses; and
WHEREAS, no monitoring data currently exist for the proposed fine particulate standard and the adoption of that standard will require the State of Mississippi to replace our entire particulate monitoring network at substantial expense; and
WHEREAS, the costs associated with the proposed new standards will significantly impact the ability of state and local governmental officials to meet other urgent priorities; and
WHEREAS, the EPA did not prepare the required initial federal Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, and did not organize small business advocacy review panels required by the federal Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act before the EPA's publication of the proposed rule; and
WHEREAS, there are many unanswered questions and scientific uncertainties regarding the health effects of particulate matter; and
WHEREAS, the establishment of these proposed standards is a very complex issue and more time should be allowed by EPA and the federal courts to conduct adequate scientific research, to fully consider the benefits of the proposed rule, as opposed to the costs of implementation and to obtain input from interested citizens, state and local governmental officials, business and industry:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby memorialize the U.S. Congress to strongly urge EPA to reaffirm the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and particulate matter pending the development of adequate scientific support for a change in the proposed standards, the thorough consideration of the economic and budgetary impacts on state and local governments, businesses and consumers and adequate input from interested citizens, state and local governmental officials, business and industry.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the U.S. Congress support EPA efforts to gather the necessary fine particulate monitoring data and to conduct necessary research needed to address unanswered scientific questions concerning fine particulate matter.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the U.S. Congress require EPA to fulfill its obligations to perform the analysis required by the federal Regulatory Flexibility Act and to organize any small business advocacy review panels required by the federal Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act before the EPA's publication of a final rule.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the U.S. Congress require EPA to identify any unfunded or under-funded mandates or other administrative or economic burdens to state and local governments that would result from the proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and particulate matter.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the legislatures of every state in the nation are hereby urged to join in this recommendation to the U.S. Congress.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be officially transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, each member of the Mississippi congressional delegation, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and each state legislature.