WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed regulations to reverse for the punishing policy known as “once-in-always-in.”
“The Trump administration is committed to cleaner air and clearer rules,” Barrasso said. “Now, manufacturers, oil and gas operations, and other industrial facilities have greater incentive to reduce emissions. Washington should help, not hinder companies looking to lower emissions. It is commonsense. Replacing this punishing policy will mean businesses can focus on reducing emissions, instead of navigating Washington red tape. ”
Barrasso and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), then-chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, sent a letter to the EPA asking the agency to withdraw the policy on January 9, 2018. Following the Senators’ letter, the Trump administration announced it was withdrawing the policy on January 25, 2018. EPA is now implementing the withdrawal.
The “once-in-always-in” policy had maintained that once a factory, plant, or other type of facility becomes subject to Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards under the Clean Air Act, it remains subject to the standards, even if it lowers its emissions below the levels that triggered the standards in the first place.
On Nov. 15, 2017, the EPW Committee held a hearing titled “Promoting American Leadership in Reducing Air Emissions through Innovation.” Testimony at the hearing identified the EPA’s “once-in-always-in” as a policy that discourages modernization and emissions reduction efforts.
A diverse range of stakeholders, from the state of Connecticut to the American Petroleum Institute, have called for withdrawal of the policy. In 2017 comments, the state of Connecticut stated, “Such a policy discourages pollution prevention efforts and often forces business owners with very small actual hazardous pollutant emissions to expend significant resources not consistent with the air emission and health benefits achieved. State and federal regulatory agencies also must expend significant resources on compliance and enforcement efforts for these facilities with small actual emissions, often gaining little in air quality improvement.”