The man in charge of air quality for one of America’s largest agriculture-producing regions told Congress even if it eliminated all businesses, farms, cars and trucks, the San Joaquin Valley would not come close to complying with new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
“In our region, we have imposed the toughest air regulations on all businesses and all agricultural activities, we have imposed the toughest regulations on cars, trucks, consumer products,” Seyed Sadredin, the executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, told House lawmakers in a hearing Thursday.
“We have even imposed tough regulations on what people can do inside their homes,” he said. “We have left no stone unturned in reducing emissions from all sectors of our economy and from every source of air pollution in our region. We have reduced air pollution by over 80 percent.”
House Republicans held a hearing to bring together state regulators who support a new bill to roll back EPA ozone regulations. EPA finalized more stringent ozone standards in October, which force states to do more to cut emissions from power plants, factories, vehicles and farms.
Critics have labelled the EPA ozone rule as one of the costliest regulation ever imposed on the U.S. economy, and Sadredin says San Joaquin residents will be hit especially hard by this new rule.
“Today if we eliminate all businesses in San Joaquin Valley, small and large, we will not come anywhere near meeting this standard,” he told lawmakers.
“If we eliminate all agriculture… we will not come close to meeting the standards,” he said. “If we removed all passenger vehicles… we will not meet this standard. If we removed all the trucks that travel up and down the valley, we will not come anywhere near meeting this standard.”