Arizona Senate President And Speaker Of The House Sue EPA For New Air Quality Rule

March 30, 2024

By Elizabeth Troutman |

Arizona State Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma filed a lawsuit to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from enacting a new air quality rule.

“The Biden administration should be rewarding American businesses for being the most environmentally friendly  in the world,” Petersen said. “Instead, they are doubling down on their left-wing agenda. This rule is bad for Arizona, its citizens  and our small businesses.” 

Petersen and Toma filed the suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Monday. 

The EPA rule, titled Reconsideration of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter,”  creates “unattainable” environmental goals for Maricopa, Pinal, and Santa Cruz counties, according to the news release. 

The rule imposes strict regulations on fine particles within the air, also known as PM 2.5. Sources of PM 2.5 include smoke,  vehicle exhaust, emissions from industrial facilities and energy sources, such as power plants. 

Less than 20% of all coarse and fine particles combined come from power generation or other industrial activities. Wildfires are the largest source, accounting for 43% of all particulate matter in the air. 

Petersen said the EPA should be focusing on mitigating wildfires, instead of imposing measures which economically harm Arizonans. 

“This rule will create unnecessary hardships for job creators and hardworking Arizonans,” Petersen said. “It will detrimentally impact our power grid and create even more red tape for both small and large businesses. We have no choice but to ask the courts to provide relief from this tyrannical, arbitrary, and illegal move by the EPA.” 

The United States already has some of the strictest air quality standards in the world, even more than the  European Union. The Obama Administration first adopted them, and the Trump administration retained them. 

But this new rule would be even more severe, causing new infrastructure construction that would improve safety and travel times for Arizonans to be halted and permits for new manufacturing facilities, especially in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima Counties, to be blocked. 

Additionally, small businesses would be required to pay for expensive new equipment, and investments in new facilities will be sent to foreign countries with less stringent regulations, forcing jobs overseas and creating a greater reliance on adversary nations. 

Up to eight additional counties within Arizona could be out of compliance, which could further threaten the state’s economic growth and prosperity. 

Elizabeth Troutman is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send her news tips using this link.

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