I provided the following testimony today at EPA’s field hearing in Phoenix regarding the agency’s revision of its exceptional events rule and new guidance on naturally occurring events.
Thank you for conducting this hearing and for the opportunity to provide a statement today. For the record, my name is Garrick Taylor, here on behalf of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Arizona Manufacturers Council.
Our organizations’ members very much appreciate the EPA’s willingness to work with stakeholders in our region, including the business community, in your agency’s announcement last month to revise the 2007 Exceptional Events Rule and issue new guidance on wildfire events, which could affect ozone concentrations.
Our organizations over the years have made clear our concerns over our region’s potential exposure to government sanctions resulting from naturally occurring events. As we all know, Arizona has a unique desert environment where dust storms or “haboobs” frequently roll through during our summer months. These exceptional events occur regularly in Arizona and can contribute to artificially high air quality readings that have the potential to place counties in non-attainment. A non-attainment designation could have lasting economic consequences on cities, towns and businesses in Arizona.
While we appreciate the EPA’s revision and new guidance, our members hold the same position as Sen. Jeff Flake that a 30-day extension of the public comment period will lead to a more thoughtful response from affected stakeholders. The proposal currently on the table is a significant one, and it deserves all due diligence from interested parties.
Once again, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Arizona Manufacturers Council appreciates the EPA holding this public hearing, and we look forward to working with your agency in the future.