Congressman Flake Introduces the CLEER Act

Bill Will Ease EPA Regulatory Burden for States With Natural Dust Occurrences

Washington, D.C. – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today introduced H.R. 5381, the Commonsense Legislative Exceptional Events Reform (CLEER) Act.

In order for states to exclude specific exceedances of air quality standards often caused by naturally-occurring events such as dust storms, they must submit costly and complicated demonstration projects to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its review. However, the EPA is under no pressure to review this paperwork in a timely manner. Additionally, the current regulations governing exceptional events demonstrations leave the decision entirely at the discretion of the EPA, and the decisions are not appealable.

The CLEER Act remedies these costly and burdensome exceptional events regulations with commonsense reforms in part by requiring the EPA to review states’ exceptional events documentation within 90 days of submission; afford states deference on what should be excluded; carry out a rulemaking in concert with the states on what exceptional events demonstrations must include; and making their decisions on exceptional events demonstrations appealable.

“States shouldn’t face bureaucratic penalties from the EPA for naturally occurring events, like dust storms,” said Flake.

The CLEER Act is supported by a wide variety of air quality stakeholders in Arizona and on the national level. A complete list of the bill’s supporters as well as additional background and information about the CLEER Act are attached.

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