WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced the Real EPA Impact Reviews (REPAIR) Act, which would help facilitate a more transparent EPA regulatory impact analyses (RIA) process by requiring the EPA to include a scenario in each of its RIAs that does not contain additional proposed regulations.
“This is about transparency and accountability,” said Thune. “It’s important for Congress and the American people to have a full understanding of the impact proposed regulations may have. While including proposed regulations can be important for forecasting the future regulatory landscape, isolating a proposal’s impact without the influence of other proposed regulations will provide a clearer analysis of the proposal’s immediate impact.”
The REPAIR Act was inspired by the EPA’s draft RIA for lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standard ground-level ozone, which was released on November 25, 2014. The RIA assumed that that numerous other regulations would be fully implemented, despite the possibility that these regulations may have been subject to delay, modification, or dismissal prior to finalization. The RIA also included in its baseline that the existing ozone standard would be fully implemented, despite the fact that 227 countries had yet to meet the existing standard. Such inclusions likely caused the RIA to significantly underestimate the true cost of a lower ozone standard.
Sens. Thune and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) sent a letter in February to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calling on the agency to explain why the RIA to lower ground-level ozone standards doesn’t align with a similar EPA proposal from 2011. Thune and Inhofe’s letter requested the EPA provide analysis that didn’t include co-benefits of reducing other emissions or include in its calculations any other proposed regulation.
In March, Thune reintroduced the bipartisan Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) Act (S. 751) with Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), which would stem the economic harm from a lower ground-level ozone standard by requiring the EPA to focus on the worst areas for air quality before lowering the standard across the country. This bill has 24 cosponsors.