Our outreach efforts against the anti-science permitting bill, HB 1294, are working and the bill has been delayed in the House Appropriations Committee while lawmakers review the updated fiscal note! Now is the time to continue the pressure against this misguided proposal and continue reaching out to legislators to ask them to vote “NO.”
As a reminder, major problems remaining in the bill include the following:
- The amended HB 1294 would create a new non-scientific legislative committee on air quality. The members of this committee are not required to have any experience that would qualify them for analyzing ozone issues or developing policy, technical, or financial solutions – unlike the extensive government agencies and experts that are already actively engaged on this issue.
- The bill also does not allow any permit to increase emissions in any way, which will prevent expansions or improvements at any existing facility, severely inhibiting development.
- HB 1294 opens the door to costly and irresponsible lawsuits, encouraging baseless complaints to be filed that will tie up agency staff and create a litigious landscape in the process. It also requires the air pollution control division to accept all complaints without considering whether the evidence is factual or reliable. State agency environmental staff are already overly-burdened and facing extreme permitting backlogs. The constant need to investigate new complaints would only make an existing problem worse and detract from other important work.
- Finally, the bill derails the progress that is currently underway between state agencies and stakeholders to improve our environment and reduce emissions. HB 1294 changes definitions that are currently being negotiated, imposes tight new deadlines that disrupt predictability in regulations, and creates even more new regulatory costs on industries that are still trying to comply with recent air quality standards.
Tell lawmakers to support regulatory predictability so the business community can continue collaborating with public officials on science-based air quality policies. Use our grassroots tool below to tell your state senator and representative to vote “NO” on HB 1294.