— Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, questioned witnesses about three pieces of legislation related to air quality monitoring.


EPA SLOW-WALKING MONITORING MODERNIZATION: “I’d like to go to the two recommendations that you mentioned in your statement. You mentioned for EPA to develop and implement an asset management framework for the national ambient air quality monitoring system; and secondly for EPA to develop and make public an air quality monitoring modernization plan…What has EPA done—your study came out two years ago—in the last two years to implement your recommendations?”

IMMOVABLE BUREAUCRACY: “Why do you think EPA…hasn’t already moved to a modernization where you can have low-cost monitoring? You can reshape. Do you think it’s a bureaucracy that’s immovable? Or you like to do it the way it’s always been and think it’s accurate? Are states resisting? Where do you think the real problems are with why they haven’t moved to a modernization plan 10 years ago?”

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MONITORING: “Let me ask you if you can explain in really general terms—because I know you’re a technical expert—the difference between the monitors used to regulate criteria air pollutants and air toxics? Is there a difference there?”

ANOTHER ATTACK ON OIL & GAS: “Domestic air emissions – including of ground-level ozone – have fallen significantly over the past few decades – meaning our country has much cleaner air. But that has not stopped this administration from moving forward with plans to ‘redesignate’ your area, the Permian Basin, as being in nonattainment with the ozone standard. How would a finding of nonattainment with the ozone standard impact what goes on in the Permian Basin and how do you interpret their interpretation?”

LOW MERCURY LEVELS: “The mercury levels have come way, way down over the last 20-30 years. Consistent with everyone’s testimony is that the reason we have any issues with this is because of what goes on with China. I’m curious to know, does China monitor their mercury emissions?”


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