Colorado Capitol Report

The Colorado Chamber Continues to Lead Response Efforts on EPA Action on Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction (SSM) SIP Provisions

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State Policy News

CACI Continues to Lead Response Efforts on EPA Action on Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction (SSM) SIP Provisions

Last Friday, CACI’s Air Quality Committee Chair, Adam Berig, Energy and Environment Council Chair, John Jacus, and CACI Government Affairs Representative, Dan O’Connell, met with CDPHE’s Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) leadership to discuss the ongoing process for responding to the EPA’s SIP Call Action.  Due to the existing statutory requirement that Clean Air Act SIP revisions be provided to the Colorado General Assembly by January 15th each year, the timeline for submitting proposed changes to CDPHE on the Clean Air Act SIP is limited.

During the meeting, CACI discussed the progress its membership has achieved thus far in trying to develop a response to the SIP Call, as well as the challenges posed by the aggressive timeline.  CACI shared that, despite the quick response from its members on this issue, more time is needed to determine the impact that any changes have on Colorado companies.  CACI also discussed the productive dialogue it has had with APCD staff in determining options for how Colorado can respond to the EPA’s SIP Call that considers both the emissions protections being sought by the EPA, with the need to minimize unintended consequences for operators that take steps to control excess emissions.

The feedback from the Division was positive and a 30-day delay could be granted.  If that occurs, it could result in the Division noticing the request for a rule making hearing during the September meeting of the Air Quality Control Commission for a December rule making hearing.  CACI has not received confirmation that the delay has been granted, but will continue to advocate for the additional time needed to fully consider draft SIP change proposals, and to continue to engage the APCD and other stakeholders regarding potential changes and their impact.

CACI members with questions regarding this issue should contact CACI Governmental Affairs Representative Dan O’Connell 303.866.9622.

CACI Ozone Coalition Convenes First Meeting & Develops Advocacy Strategy

Yesterday, a broad range of CACI’s members convened at the initial meeting of the CACI Ozone Coalition.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently finalizing a new, more stringent standard to control ground-level ozone – with the rule to be released no later than October 31, 2015.

While states nationwide, including Colorado, are just beginning to implement the existing ground level ozone limits of 75 parts per billion (ppb), the EPA is planning to make new limits as low as 60 ppb or 65 ppb.  Ground level ozone standards below the current 75 ppb will present businesses and industries, operating within and beyond Colorado, with the most costly environmental regulatory scheme in history.  These increases pose severe operational, cost and compliance challenges for Colorado businesses, potentially stunting plans for future expansions and investments, and resulting in steep economic challenges to communities and the broader economy.

While the aggregate potential costs of the new standard are compelling, the CACI Ozone Coalition focused on identifying businesses and industries across Colorado that will be most impacted by tighter ozone standards.  The Coalition also focused on understanding where CACI members could be impacted geographically, and how they could be impacted in terms of compliance costs, costly emissions control requirements, increased consumer costs, job losses, decreased operations or even permanent termination of operations.

The CACI Ozone Coalition is seeking to generate a detailed, easily-understandable narrative regarding the potential impact of a new, more restrictive ground level ozone standard.  This narrative will be essential to communicating the Coalition’s efforts about the everyday reality of challenges posed by a stricter ozone standard.  Advocacy efforts will focus on educating Colorado’s congressional delegation and the Obama Administration about the need to balance new environmental standards couched in public health and safety, with the economic health of Colorado and our greater economy.

With $11 billion in compliance costs and an $18 billion decrease in Colorado’s gross state product projected through 2040, the new ozone standard could have a deeper and more costly impact than the sweeping Clean Power Plan rules expected to be finalized by the EPA later this summer.

For more information regarding the new ground level ozone standard and its potential to affect Colorado, see the following documents:

CACI members with questions regarding this issue or who would like to submit information as to how this new standard will affect their companies should contact:

  • Dan O’Connell, CACI Governmental Affairs Representative, 303.866.9622
  • Leah Curtsinger, CACI Federal Policy Representative, 303.866.9641
  • Patrick Pratt, CACI Colorado Manufacturing Initiative Program Manager, 303.866.9657