Clean Air Act and Related Issues - 114th Congress (2015-2016)

There has been considerable activity in the 114th Congress to amend specific provisions of, or a provisisons to, the Clean Air Act.  Numerous regulatory reform bills have been introduced, many of which seek to constrain EPA's regulatory authority.  Other key issues attracting legislative attention are the 2015 revisions to the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, how science is used in the science regulatory process and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.

There is  a host of bills in the 114th Congress seeking to reform the federal regulatory process.  Some of these bills are aimed specifically at EPA and others at all regulatory agencies.  A common theme among many of these bills is to curtail or impede the ability of the federal government to adopt regulations.

EPA’s ongoing effort to review the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and, ultimately, its final action to make the standards more protective, have garnered significant attention from lawmakers.  Bills and resolutions that would delay EPA’s review and revision of the ozone NAAQS (and other pollutants), bar EPA from making the ozone NAAQS more protective, prohibit EPA from implementating the ozone NAAQS and disapprove the new ozone NAAQS are among those introduced in this Congress.

The way in which EPA uses science and selects science advisors has come under attack again in the 114th Congress.  A bill that would restrict the kinds of scientific and technical information used by the agency has been passed by the House and reported by the Senate EPW Committee.  The House has also passed a bill to revise the way in which Science Advisory Board members are selected.

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) continues to be a controversial topic in the 114th Congress.  Bills to eliminate or reform RFS requirements have been introduced in the House and Senate.

In addition to bills amending the Clean Air Act, related legislation has been introduced that affect other clean air issues.