Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 9, 2016 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

6:00 pm
6:01 pm
6:02 pm
>> we are happy to have the five witnesses we have today. at this point, i would like to ask any of our members would like to introduce those from their state. >> i would like to welcome randy huffman, our cabinet secretary for many years in west virginia's department of environmental protection. .andy served for three years he has worked in all variety of a graduate of west
6:03 pm
virginia tech. we see him around all the time. thank you for your testimony and service. >> senator rounds? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank all of our witnesses coming here today to testify. i would particularly like to welcome the secretary of environment and natural resources. he has served as secretary for three south dakota governors and been in various positions since 1979. he has three decades of experience with epa regulations. impressivexpress -- experience in epa rules regulating toxic substances. an agency with 180
6:04 pm
full-time employees responsible for administering all the rules and the epa. for are also responsible administering various environmental laws in a state with 77,000 square miles of land. knows thepirner limited budgets they face while trying to enforce epa regulations on the state. he is confronted with a challenge every day of managing resources in a way that will allow them to fulfill state and federal duties. it should also be noted that over 30% of the operating budget is reliant on federal funds. goal is toirner's make sure that south dakotans enjoy the cleanest air and water possible.
6:05 pm
it is a source of pride for all of us. theng the time i worked for governor, steve was the secretary of the department and of knowledgewealth and an interest in seeing things get done correctly. i am happy he was able to make the trek out. >> it is very nice to have you here. >> i just want to say, randy, welcome. years growingof up as a kid visiting my grandparents all over the state. it is nice to see you. welcome. , you have a name that will be most mispronounced. his last name is mirzakhalili.
6:06 pm
he has been a servant of the people for almost 30 years. he used to work for the guy sitting behind me, the secretary of the department of natural resources. this is like getting the band back together. director of natural resources. he is responsible for implementing all aspects of the clean air act requirements. experience inf all aspects of air quality ,anagement include planning compliance, enforcement, and permitting. in engineering from the university of delaware. he has been a great servant and friend. i am happy you are here. >> thank you, senator.
6:07 pm
becky, we are going to hold you until senator bozeman comes in. with him thisst morning and told him i would do that. deb, it is very nice to have you here. i will give opening statements from -- sincear there are five of you, i would like you to comply with the same time we do. today's hearing is critical to our understanding of the success and lack of success of environmental groups across the country. in appreciation of our unique particulargress in must check in with states to ensure the system is fully functioning when it comes to actions initiated by the united states environmental protection agency. thank our state regulators for being here to share your feedback on whether the current regulatory framework
6:08 pm
between states and the epa is working and upholding the principles of federalism. is aration with federalism core principle of environmental statutes, including the clean air act, safe drinking water act , and several others. unfortunately, under the obama administration, we have observed regulations breaking down the system in what seems to be uncooperative federalism. the obama epa has embarked on an unprecedented regulatory agenda that imposes an increasing number of regulatory actions on states while requesting less funds to help states carry out these actions. some state regulators have is requiring them to do more with less. many of these actions are driven
6:09 pm
from headquarters to fulfill political agendas that often result in years of litigation and inefficiencies that cost citizens more taxpayer dollars. panel we have a diverse ,rom states across the country working with different epa regions and experiencing unique environmental issues. we will expand on this breakdown. varies,ate feedback there are several troubling themes that have emerged. has failed to consult with states at the beginning of regulatory actions. the epa gives states little time to digest complex regulations. to has allowed activists sever deadlines imposed on states without state input.
6:10 pm
epa has increasingly used regulatory guidance to circumvent the regulatory process. epa has a severe backlog of approving state implementation plans as issued. requests have called for decreased levels of state funding while requesting increased funds for epa bureaucrats. epa is deviating from its core function to uphold cooperative federalism as we defined it. these concerns are not limited to our witnesses today. last month, i sent letters to state environmental agencies asking for feedback on epa and the level of cooperative federalism. i appreciate the many responses i got.
6:11 pm
without objection, i make them a part of the record. i look forward to hearing more from our witnesses today as we take a hard look at what works and what does not. senator boxer? >> how did you know? friends on the panel, thank you for being here. count me in on people who want to hear from the states. so many of our states are leaders on the environment, my own being a prime example. we have proved we can clean up the environment and create good paying jobs. it has been proven over and over again. i think that all wisdom certainly does not reside here. all of us would certainly say that. that is why i liked the idea of minimum standards being set by the federal government to protect all our people but allowing the states to do more to protect their people from
6:12 pm
pollution. oft is really at the heart what this debate is all about. to me, it is not about states' rights. it is about protecting people at a minimum level and allowing states to do more if they want to. states have an important role to play in carrying out environmental landmarks. we can talk about them all day, but i will make a prediction. we will never repeal the clean air act, the clean water act, the safe drinking water act. theill never repeal bradfield act. 90% of the american people support that. what happens here in this committee, since my friends took personal --othing what has happened is we are seen
6:13 pm
throughmining of laws backdoors, making it impossible with lawsuits and the rest. i am asking consent to place my full statement on the record. >> no objection. >> you have to learn by what happens. we have to learn history, look at current events. i am speaking for myself and only for myself when i say this. when i look at what happened in michigan, when i look at the way that state handled the situation i think for us to be holding a hearing saying the federal government should not do anything, the fact is that epa, in writing, warned them. did they do enough? not in my book, but they warned them to put anti-corrosive treatment into those pipes. atm not pointing the finger anyone person, but someone will
6:14 pm
be blamed for this at the end of the day when the suits come to the courts. for me, it is a moral crime. to just say the state should do it all, there should not be minimum standards, we should not triple check these water systems , i just do not buy it. are a happys do compromise between the right of the people who vote for president, senators, house members, to know they will have a basic standard so they can be protected and their children can be protected. then say to the states, you are the laboratory. if you can do more, fine. but at least protect them to a minimum level. that is how i view this job. think, when we
6:15 pm
preempt states on this, it is a terrible thing to do. again, i want to say thank you. i am very happy to see all of you here. >> thank you, senator boxer. senator bozeman, would you like to introduce your guest from arkansas? i told her i was about half hog. >> in the interest of time, i just want to thank her for being here. thanks for their tremendous job she is doing in arkansas. we are happy to have her on board. we are pleased you are here. >> thank you, senator bozeman. we will start with you, ali. i will take your short name. >> members of the committee, i
6:16 pm
am the delaware director of air quality. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i would like to share delaware's view of the responsibility of with complyings to various environmental statutes and regulatory actions to protect the environment. the clean air act has been a huge success, preventing literally hundreds of thousands of premature deaths. the health benefits associated with the clean air act far to one. the costs by 30 at the same time, the gross domestic product has grown. the clean air act has not only been an effective environmental statute, it will likely go down as one of the most effective domestic laws ever passed. the epa simply expects the
6:17 pm
system to work. it is imperative that epa, congress, perform its respective roles as effectively as possible. best enforce can ,ts role by focusing on science providing state flexibility to meet national standards, issuing guidelines and rules in a timely manner, ensure that states are held accountable for their actions, provide a level playing field, set standards for sources of pollution that are of national significance and where states may be preempted from doing so. a responsibility for environmental protection, including ensuring it provides adequate funding to epa and the states in meeting clean air goals. unfortunately in recent years, congress has fallen short in this respect. the clean air act authorizes the
6:18 pm
federal government to provide grants of up to 50% of local programs and call for states and localities to provide a 40% match. unfortunately, this has not been the case. state local responsibilities have expanded significantly since 1990 well the grants have not, resulting in delaware and other states self funding over 75% of their programs. despite these challenges, states are trying to do their best to comply with epa rules and regulations. i am proud to say we are meeting all of our obligations. you succeed by being proactive, collaborative, and focusing on limited resources to ensure that they are appropriately controlled. states face a number of important regulatory deadlines under the clean air do not differentiate
6:19 pm
between large states and small states like ours with fewer resources. i believe delaware's practice of ensuring all resources are properly controlled is key to provide sufficient funding. if we can do it, so can others. effort to delaware's maintain standards, those efforts are not wasted. delaware is complying with the subject tords and is the first of three sulfur dioxide requirements only. we are continuing to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are endangering public health. this year, delaware will continue to work on the greenhouse gas initiative and prepare our state standards on power plants. it is an example of how the epa
6:20 pm
is working with states to craft flexible rules. delaware continues to experience poor air quality, however. emissions control efforts to reduce emissions have resulted in a situation where over 90% of is adversely affecting delaware. , otherhe clean air act states would be required to mitigate emissions if they have not done so. in some cases, the problem is upwind sources have not controlled emissions. any action this committee can take to require states to comply and increase epa resources to ensure equity would greatly help delaware and others in similar
6:21 pm
situations. thank you for this opportunity to testify. >> thank you. kowitz? >> i am the secretary of vermont's agency of natural resources. if senator sanders were not in florida, he would be introducing me. thank you for inviting me to testify on cooperative federalism. state and a delegated we take responsibility for the oversight and implementation of federal environmental programs. the clean water act and the national pollution discharge elimination system permit program, the clean air act, and the safe drinking water act. -- chose to take on these federal programs. epa did not force us to do so. chose to take
6:22 pm
responsibility to implement these important regulatory programs in our state because we know how important they are to health, safety, and prosperity. on cleando we rely air, water, and land to protect the health of our people, but vermont has a land-based economy. our top industries include agriculture and forestry. people come from all over the world to swim in our lakes, hike in our forests. this is not all. in our manufacturing and high-tech sectors, every sector of business and industry in vermont, it is the natural beauty of our state and pristine environment that allows us to attract good jobs and high quality employees. by managing these delegated programs, vermont can ensure our state is protected through regulation, assistance, and enforcement.
6:23 pm
it is even more important in light of a highly charged political dialogue here in washington. who rules promulgated by epa take time and effort to rulesent -- while promulgated by epa take time and effort to implement, we look to the epa to look at the science that underlies our efforts. we could not protect human health and safeguarding environment without this federal contribution. in nationalee value standards for environmental protection. whohe children in rutland know well, asthma pollution does not honor state lines. us importantiven protections.
6:24 pm
federal regulations provide an even playing field among states. helping to prevent a regulatory race to the bottom in a misguided attempt to attract economic development. ledge important to acknowe that it is not always simple. there are times we want to address the problems differently the epa has approached it in the past, or it has unintended consequences in vermont because of our small size. in these situations, we found epa willing to listen to our concerns. in numerous situations, the epa supported vermont in our efforts to implement programs. epa has a lot of flexibility in implementation, who operated us and hasve shared goals, shared resources and expertise
6:25 pm
to help us more efficiently implement our programs. in my testimony, i have included specific examples. want to reiterate the value of our relationship with the epa. for vermont, this partnership is essential to protect our exemplifiesand cooperative federalism. take >> thank you. >> good morning, mr. chairman. thank you for the opportunity to address that committee concerning federalism and environmental regulations. as chief environmental regulator, i view the relationship between our federal partners is critical. states, 95% ofe the environmental regulatory duties in this country are carried out by states.
6:26 pm
congress placed the most important core responsibilities with the case -- states because they are more aware of concerns than distant bureaucracies. states must have balanced budgets and perform in the face of declining revenues. within these constraints that states have demonstrated we are not only up to the challenge but continue to deliver results congress envisioned when it developed the framework within cooperative federalism. unfortunately, federalism under the current administration has been less than cooperative. constant flow of new regulations from federal agencies. much of it encroaches on the to theties congress gave states and adds burdens to resources already stretched thin. at best, epa is indifferent to
6:27 pm
the consequences of their actions. agencies we see these rewrite environmental ask without accountability. is one withmple which we are familiar. the position individual states take on ofmate change, section 111b the clean air act puts the state in charge of developing standards of performance. with little regard to the role seizeds gave it, epa has authority, establishing minute details of one of the most complex initiatives in the clean air act. epa is increasingly establishing what amounts to binding rules through guidance. states are expected to perform to the results of the process as if epa promulgated a valid rule.
6:28 pm
further eliminates state discretion and allows them to avoid accountability and transparency of rulemaking. tofinal example relates similar examples, the proposed stream protection rules, which i testified about in october, is another example of a federal agency trying to rewrite part of an act of congress without a mandate to do so. they failed to involve the states, which have promised to carry out these duties. the result is a proposal with multiple unlawful conflicts with federal and state clean water laws. osm routinely fails to approve amendments on which it is obligated to act. since 2009, west virginia has submitted nine amendments for consideration.
6:29 pm
only those that proposed an increase in fees or taxes on the mining industry have been approved on an interim basis. 's misusexample is osm of ten-day notices to correct defects. ten-day notices of notify the state when a mining violation is suspected and has not been addressed. it is clearly an enforcement measure to be applied to active operations. osm was directed to use this tool to correct deficiencies in permits, which is contrary to the mining act. embrace the idea of cooperative federalism in regulating industrial activity and protecting the environment. the practice has great validity and has been successful in the past. since 2009, i have watched epa agenda thatute an
6:30 pm
does not concern itself with the rule of law for making changes to environmental statutes. i do not want to create the impression that all of west virginia's interactions with epa and osm are negative. we have built good relations with our counterparts at the federal level. most of the fears i address emanate from headquarters, which have little understanding of what it takes to run a state regulatory program. thank you, mr. hoffman. chairman, ranking member boxer, members of the committee, good morning. i bring greetings from governor hutchinson. responsibilitye -- opportunity to respond to your call.
6:31 pm
seeking to draft policy that balances effective environmental results, assures resource management and economic growth. we want a state that can attract the newest generation of professionals and arkansas's world-class recreational opportunities. we have invested heavily in we protect the amazing vistas with which we have been blessed. we do not take our status as the natural state lately. serveive to effectively the role of environmental stewardship and development. for decades, we have successfully worked with epa under a governing model that is the topic of today's hearing. this notion is born of something uniquely american, a system of federalism, where nations and states function together.
6:32 pm
the epa and state have a balanced seat at the table. as we are known to do in the south, we would sit around the table and have a good, old-fashioned meal with ample servings. we would cooperate and prepare a meal together. however, this has become a thing of the past. increasingly diminished role in meal preparation and selection. we are often forced to eat what is served. the federalism model that has defined arkansas's relationship with the epa since the 1970's is better described today as course of federalism -- coercive federalism. a dramatic increase
6:33 pm
in takeovers for implementation plans. traditionally, these were used as weapons of last resort, a nuclear option for states unfaithful to the partnership. , these are often used as an ousryday tool, often of dubi origin. forced toe been digest more of these takeovers then served in the past three administrations combined. states will not drop their own theosals if they expect federal government to do what it once in the end. is diminished, and the opportunity for local innovation is destroyed. cooperation should be fostered, not discouraged. we call on you to help remedy the broken marriage through amendment or ancillary legislation. states are placed in the unfair position of finding out that
6:34 pm
meals are served exclusively from the epa table. we are to be served a fixed menu without a fixed price. willingness to split the check was mitigated by a ncelthy respect and defere we received. we ask for your help in resetting the needle to the point abortion -- of origin. in our estimation, congress bell, ring the dinner states should host the equation -- occasion, and the epa should be a frequent guest. , wever, where we are now can best describe it as a dinner party gone bad. states recognize an unprecedented level of federal actions. we have more on our plate than
6:35 pm
we can say grace over. deadlines are further complicated by the complexity of the rules. we are serving appetizers, salads, main course, and dessert at the same time. states rarely have sufficient notice for implementation to establish meaningful outcomes. we are left unable to get a taste of one course before the next arrives. the epa is afforded the luxury of being the ultimate picky ea ter. they select what they prefer on the menu, while we digest leftovers. states are often now more pawn than partner. it is evident in a legislative consequencesfinal and extraordinary flaws.
6:36 pm
arkansas is seeking ways to work with epa on consolidating and superseding f without legal consequences. the state developed a robust national condition water criteria in arkansas. it has now become unrealistic minimum water protection standards. in this case, epa has executed a upt and switch, serving cooperation in a manner that is distasteful on a table with one leg. we want a seat at the table. thehould not be fed regulation of the day. f.i.p.s,jority of the
6:37 pm
we have benefited from the good neighbor provision. the state role is now less partner and more pawn. we are left to wonder if special interest groups currently occupy that wasat the table once reserved for us. with states disenfranchised, so is the truth of federal democracy. thank you. >> mr. pirner? >> chairman, members of the committee, my name is steve secretary of the south dakota department of natural resources. i appreciate all the opportunity to share our view why we do not believe the epa upholds the standard of cooperative federalism.
6:38 pm
to fund regulatory programs, epa awards us a partnership grant. and012, the grant peaked has declined in the last three years. this was certainly inverse to the huge increase in federal requirements from delegated programs that is, in our view, an erosion of cooperative federalism. for example, epa and the corps developed a rule to clarify which water bodies are subject to jurisdiction under the clean water act. the rule faced substantial opposition in south dakota. we joined a lawsuit with 12 other states to block the rule. was quoted asal saying, the epa as -- is overstepping its authority and seizing rights reserved to the states. under the clean water act, epa has proposed new water standards , nutrients, and
6:39 pm
dental offices. these more stringent standards are going to cause additional wastewater treatment, which will drive wastewater treatment costs up. under the resource conservation recovery act, epa finalized regulations for coal ash. l fired powera but isurns only dry ash subject to the existing waste permit. clean air act, the power plant was listed as a large source and needed to demonstrate compliance with sulfur dioxide standards. thenever took into account new air pollution controls installed at a cost of $384 million. these newo doubt
6:40 pm
controls will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions below the threshold established. another clean air dispute involves ozone. south dakota is one of 10 states complying with standards against recommendations. we adopted a new lower standard for ozone. we are at risk of having a non-attainment status because epa lowered the standards below background levels. in response to another petition from the sierra club, epa determined a certain startup and meltdown exemption includes south dakota and needs to be eliminated. our exemption allows for brief becauseof emissions certain equipment is not functional when these events take place. the rule was first established in 1975 and approved by epa and
6:41 pm
has not interfered with south dakota's compliance with national standards. south dakota joined florida's lawsuit against the rule with 15 other states. is carbonexample dioxide standards for power plants. in 2012, 70 4% of power generated in south dakota came from renewable sources. in spite of this remarkable rule threatens the economic viability of the plants we haveal in the state. here again, our attorney general joint lawsuits against the rules, notably with west virginia. will have aents huge impact on our citizens and produce littlel or no noticeable benefits in south dakota. eachhis reason, we believe
6:42 pm
state should have the freedom to address these issues individually, using the principles of cooperative federalism and executive order 1313. has stated in the executive the framers recognized the states possess unique authorities and abilities to meet the needs of the people. that is not the case now. i hope this information is useful to the committee. >> thank you. all right. up?we get the poster according to this december 2015 timeline by the association of air pollution control agencies, there are nine clean air act deadlines for states this year alone. your testimony describes a number of these epa actions. i am quoting. we have, at best, overlapping,
6:43 pm
and at worst, conflicting directives. can you explain how competing deadlines impact your department? >> thank you, chairman. it is a bit frustrating as we seek implementation of these number of regulations in a short timeframe. see, as program staff evaluate these rules, we are forling conflicting results the same facility. progressignores the the states are making. >> thank you very much. mr. huffman, february 23, 2016, 200 house and senate members, 34 of those were senate members, in filing an amicus
6:44 pm
brief in opposition to the clean power plan. you areo point out talking favorably about the power plan because you are one of four states exempt. the brief argues that the clean power plan violates the clean , and i am quoting from civebrief, epa takes a coer approach that commandeers the state to implement power choices. an, do youk mr. huffm allows theower plan epa to implement choices that are not the choices of state? >> thank you. biggestelieve epa's challenge in implementing the
6:45 pm
clean power plan is it had to go about it in a way that is unconventional. typically, epa will regulate pollutant at the end of the pipe. with the clean power plan, the only way to do that would be to put a regulatory limits on carbon dioxide. the only way to do that in a way that gave the effect we would want what essentially shut down all fossil fuel production in the country. the way they went about managing this minute detail of how clean power plan should be implemented, we think, ran in 11d ofct with section 1 the clean air act, which gives states the authorities to implement. the threshold. >> thank you. there is a little
6:46 pm
confusion, lack of clarity, following the supreme court's stay of the clean power plan. has your state continued to work on the rule? if the stay is ultimately lifted, do you expect compliance deadlines to be extended? do you continue to work as if the stay were not a reality? how are you preparing for it? plan beforeman, our the stay was issued was to proceed along a path as such that we could do enough to get a two-year extension. epa said that would not be a high bar to reach. we read through what they would require. one of those items was a participation process.
6:47 pm
that, wese to established a website where people could view information and give us,. we had also scheduled public input meetings. after the stay was issued, we canceled public meetings. are getting back from the legal team that is theyng the lawsuit is that expect those deadlines will be adjusted by the courts once the decision is made. our twoting and knowing -- are two different things. anyone want to comment? senator boxer? mirzakhalili, delaware is a downwind state. much of the air pollution comes from upwind states. role toit is epa's
6:48 pm
ensure equity between where pollution is produced and where it is received. it seems to me that is spot on. epa did not set minimum standards and this went to neighboring states who are over your way, and we left it to each state, what would it be like for the people of delaware in terms of asthma, copd? >> thank you for the question, senator. we get the smoke in our eyes. we suffer from the consequences of the emissions. mentioned, some of this is simple to remedy. equipment has been installed. it is just not operating.
6:49 pm
>> thank you. i think you answered that very well. keogh, i would love to be invited to your house for dinner. you are obviously focused on it, and it would be fun. you just heard our witness from delaware talk about the fact that, if we do not have these basic minimum standards, his state -- they are wonderful people, that they are located in a place where they get that pollution. if your state was in that circumstance, i know you get some pollution from surrounding states, but not to the extent other states get it, wouldn't you think it would be fair to limit that pollution? wouldn't you be concerned? science tells us there is a direct link between dirty air and copd. can you understand their point?
6:50 pm
that is what i am asking. >> ranking member. i apologize. all due respect, chairman. arkansas has very clean air and healthy air. it is difficult for a state like arkansas to reflect on the model in states which measure and monitor clean air against others. >> that was not my question. if you are one of the states that got a huge amount of pollution from a next door state which did nothing to prevent it, would you put yourself in the shoes of delaware or rhode island? a simple yes or no. >> our states work together when we have a situation like that. we have worked with neighboring states. >> so your position is your state can tell another state what to do, and you are criticizing the epa?
6:51 pm
one state is going to tell the other state what to do. it is not realistic at all. that is the reason we passed federal legislation, under nixon, i might say. can you explain why it is essential we have national minimum standards while allowing states to be more stringent in protecting citizens? could you put on your mic? >> in talking about -- we are also an upwind state. vermont is a clean, green state. we have some of the worst air pollution in the country in the town of rutland. -burninges from coal states into vermont. workve tried to cooperatively with the states to put in place commute -- pollution controls they already had.
6:52 pm
we want to do more. we recognize we have a culture of environmentalism at a baseline when other states want to do less. >> you are making my point. minimum federal standards. let the states do more. that is the beauty of the clean air act, which is under fierce attack. fman, the january 2014 chemical storage facility contaminated the drinking water supply of 300,000 residents. you know that. we are facing another drinking water crisis in flint, where children were poisoned by toxic drinking water. beyou think states should doing more, not less, to protect drinking water? >> i think your point about toimum federal standards,
6:53 pm
let the states figure it out, that is the model we should be following. , and i think this frustration with west virginia -- for some, it has been what the standards are.the problem for me is the way they go about implementing standards. they are bypassing guidelines under federal statutes for how to implement one of these changes. >> my time has run out. is that means he wants me to stop. or it is the hot air. let me just say i really respect what you just said. i do not think any agency, federal or state -- we will talk more about that. what you said is very fair. minimum standards, yes, but implemented in the right way. >> thank you, senator boxer. senator rounds? >> we pride ourselves in the
6:54 pm
south dakota with clean air. we have challenges at times. if there is a forest fire in california, we suffered smoke from that. when you talk about clean air, we want it too. secretary pirner, you spent decades administering environmental regulations on the state and federal level. can you discuss, in your experience, the differences you have seen in terms of the quality and benefits of regulations that have resulted from a process that implements versus theinput, ones recently implemented by the epa? >> based on my experience, if and epa rolled out an issue, if everybody came to the table and agreed this is a
6:55 pm
problem and these are some options that are viable, things get done. it works. if you do not have that process in place, and the federal government, epa in this case, is identifying a problem along with the option or a couple options, none of which work for you, we are left with a rash of lawsuits that i just mentioned in my testimony. >> talk about ozone a little bit. in south dakota, we are one of the few states in compliance. you have seen the numbers coming out. can you talk about what that does in a state like south dakota, where we are one of the 10 that complies with this. we want to make changes down to basic numbers. can you talk about how frustrating that is? >> yes, senator. ozone, you have to have
6:56 pm
certain emissions. it has to react with sunlight. then you get ozone. ozone may actually form in a downwind state. , we are aakota population of 800,000 people. we do not have the sources of chemicals that react with sunlight to form ozone. so the ozone we do have in south dakota is either from upwind states or basically our background levels. i think, based upon what we have seen, the new limit that epa has come out with is very, very close, if not above, our background levels. >> so a state like south dakota -- what are we supposed to do when we are not in compliance? yet, have not been there thank goodness.
6:57 pm
but i would assume we would go into a nonattainment status and work with the epa on figuring out what to do. since we do not have the sources, i do not know what we would do. >> in your experience, how would you recommend epa change its practices of making regulations to better incorporate state perspective in the regulatory process? one of the implications of the epa enacting overreaching national mandates, presidential regulations that take into account individual states. >> the hearing is on federalism. if you read the executive order i quoted in my testimony, it says one of the principles of federalism is that those decisions that affect people, that are made by the unit of government closest to the
6:58 pm
people, are usually the best decisions. we would say that is still true. >> i would suggest that, during on, youure from 1979 have gone through multiple administrations. can you share a little about what you are seeing right now in regard to the consultations that are not there or the directives being laid out, versus the way it used to work, whether it was a democrat administration or republican administration. what is different about what's going on now? said we are not going to repeal the clean air act, repeal the drinking water act, the environmental federal act. too not think anybody wants repeal those federal acts. place,ey were put in
6:59 pm
there were real problems in this country and the environment was really suffering. that was the reason those acts were put in place. ,n the intervening time period tremendous progress has been made. our drinking water is safer. our air is cleaner. ist bothers me about this now we are trying to ratchet down to the next environmental problem, and we are getting to are low levels that we going to spend a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of resources. in the end, what is going to be the benefit? >> thank you. >> thank you, senator rounds. i mentioned in my opening statement that all these acts, we on the republican side were very supportive of that. i was one of the initial
7:00 pm
cosponsors. i would not want people to think these are not working. they are working. >> thanks to all of you. as recoveringon governor. during the time ali i like the idea that federal government would set some standards. i think you should figure out the lake a delay it. i thought it points you outlined to dor testimony, i want over them again and ask everybody on the panel if you agree with those. and thinking about what he said and how you feel about that. the chairman i go to with a bible study, we went to a prayer
7:01 pm
breakfast this morning. isfigure out what our fate and abide by it. we are all of different faiths. what religion we are, treat other people the way we want to be treated. i think that is the standard we can all embrace. i don't care what religion you are. i think it applies here. i had to shut down the state, and we still went out of compliance. that is not fair. that is not right. that is why we need others to be a good neighbor, to look out for their neighbor. there are places in the midwest where they created cheap energy, tall height00 foot -- pipes, or smokestacks. put this in the air, and it blows all the way into the east coast. we end up with dirtier air.
7:02 pm
we have to spend more money to clean up our air, because other people are getting cheap electricity. it is not right. i would just ask for all of us to keep in mind the golden rule, treat other people the way we want to be treated. the other thing i want us to keep in mind is i thinkk something mr. pirner said. when i was at ohio state university, there is a river. i got on the train from delaware, we were going past a river, and we cannot eat the fish. we can't even fish in most of the rivers in my state. progress,re making the river doesn't catch on fire anymore, but we still cannot eat the fish. we can do better. we agree we have to be guided by sound science. part of that is that some of the real problems are the size of the particulate that get into lungs.
7:03 pm
the most dangerous are the smallest. we were always more concerned about the larger ones. i would just ask that you keep that in mind. i want to go back to what ali said. he made six points. i want to figure out if you think he is on the target. they can useieve sound science, the epa must set national standards as congress mandated as a cornerstone of its work. number two, flexibility. when the epa establishes standards, it should be appropriate let's ability to meet obligations under the clean air act and protect public health. number three, timely rules and important epa issued timely implementation rules and guidance for use by the states. accountability. epa should be consistent and outcomes it expects from states across the country and all states, and local air pollution
7:04 pm
controls accountable. number five, equity. epa must provide for a level playing field among the states. finally, epa must address sources at states that are either pm date from regulating -- those >?ree with ms. markowitz: yes, i agree with that. it makes tremendous sense. i think that is how we have been operating. we in vermont have experienced tremendous visibility with region one. >> thank you. senator, thoses are great principles. we long for those days when the execution follows the ideal. >> thank you. think of this as a menu. [laughter] ms. keogh: no biscuits and gravy this morning. i agree with the secretary and the other members.these are good
7:05 pm
principles . it comes down to implementation, and how we can work cooperatively, and find solutions rather than create new challenges. >> thank you. mr. pirner: i would agree with asose points as well, and the other witnesses have said, it is how you carry it out. >> mr. chairman, i would say the ayes have it. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank all of you. i neglected to mention that secretary huffman is also a kernel, and serves as the vice wing commander of an airlift. thank you for your service. i thought was interesting. i'm glad senator carper went you laidhe principles out. secretary huffman, you highlighted section 303 of the clean water act. asked tohat the epa is
7:06 pm
determine whether a change in the states water polity standard meets the requirement -- quality standard meets the requirement with the act. if they establish it is not consistent, they have to notify within 90 days. --understanding understanding is the west virginia legislature approved a change in the standard last year, but the epa failed to approve or deny the change within 90 days. i think the spence stone of the top we are talking about today is not so much standard, it is the implementation and lawfulness which the federal agency is moving forward. in my view, with them not notifying in the timely fashion, or giving you good direction, it violates the timely rules and guidance that the secretary from delaware was -- director in delaware was talking about, and also the accountability portion. how vital is the feedback that the epa come in a timely fashion
7:07 pm
so you can fully implement? >> thank you, senator. it is good to see you again. it is critical. there are a lot of moving parts in the environmental regulatory business. there's a lot going on. requests, make these and we need to get answers and move on. that i frustrating is can submit a change for water quality standard, and not get it, and wrangle for months or sometimes years. yet, whenever i get an opportunity to comment on proposed rules, i might have three days. that is very frustrating. it makes me wonder, if i were a conspiracy theorist, i might wonder what the agenda is. it is frustrating. >> let me ask you, the difference between guidance and rules and regulations. you brought that up in your testimony. we find that throughout the administration, in terms of
7:08 pm
offering guidance instead of rulemaking. invade the legal aspects of creating a regulation. are you getting more guidance than in the past? is it more difficult? by --n you covered governed by guidance, instead of going through the protocols that the congress has set up, the statute allows you to get by with mark. it allows you to avoid transparency and how you get to the point. we are seeing a lot of that, not only with the epa. >> i think most of you have mentioned that what you need is -- the federal standard, nobody has a problem. it is the implementation aspect. you havemost of mentioned, the flexibility of the states need to have. obviously in west virginia, we have a much different situation
7:09 pm
than in vermont. we are blessed with a lot of coal, and we use it and have used it, but we need that possibility in west virginia to meet those standards. as every member would say, clean air and clean water is just as valuable to us. i think we eat a lot of the fish we catch in west virginia, so we are happy about that. is the flexibility aspect probably the most difficult hurdle for you all to overcome? i will start with you, secretary huffman. i don't know if it is the flexibility or the frustration. i know we are running out of time. the frustration really seems to -- it is an inconvenience to involve the public. to involve the state, it takes time. if you want a rule, it takes
7:10 pm
time. it is a very cumbersome process. they conveniently to do that to impose it upon the state. is it is already written. by the time we get it, it is already written, and it is difficult to overcome that. >> i would note that you agreed to participate with os x to develop the new stream buffer rule. many states were involved with this. because of the numerous frustrations and the lack of was doing,hat osm most states pulled out of that. >> that is correct. there was a draft that was mistakenly made public within days of us signing as a cooperating agency. it was already written. >> thank you. >> senator whitehouse? >> thank you very much, chairman. let me associate myself with the governor, and now senator carper.
7:11 pm
as the attorney general of my state, rhode island, i saw exactly the circumstance that he very well described. not only did the upwind states not make any effort to treat us fairly, we often had to try to sue the upwind states with the epa, or sometimes even sued the epa, to enforce compliance with the clean air act. on a perfect rhode island summer morning, you could drive to work and hear on the radio a warning that today was a bad air day. the children and the elderly, and people with breathing difficulties, should stay indoors. stay indoors. like delaware, we could have shut down every outlet of emissions in the state of rhode island, and not gotten ourselves into compliance, because it came from other states. other states that fought
7:12 pm
compliance, other states that often had not even put discovers on the smokestacks yet. other states that specifically built high smokestacks, so it would protect the emissions out of their state. iny were very often states compliance with these air regulations. even though they were the source of the emissions that were taking rhode island out of compliance. so i know there are going to be states that will be unhappy with epa regulation. the would love to have regulation be as close to the people as possible, because those people have wrangle that so they can ask for their pollution to my state, and not have to pay for it and not have to clean it up. that is a real problem that i think epa has to address. to ourery important downwind states. it is just not fair for kids in rhode island not to play on a summer day, because it is a bad error day. what we have seen is that as the
7:13 pm
epa has cracked down more and more, sometimes because states have sued, sometimes because the act on their own, our bad air days are diminishing. but it took epa to get after the states that were happy to go along with the gag. they had made their pollution, somebody else's problem. that somebody else was my rhode island children, elderly, and people with breathing difficulties. our engagement with region one of epa is terrific in rhode island. we don't have complaints. it is very open. there is no problem. i don't know if there is a significance to the fact that the states that seem to be more in the export is this are the ones that have more -- business are the ones that have more problems with epa. from rhode island's perspective, we appreciate what the epa is doing.
7:14 pm
let me ask a quick question, just to see where people stand. let me start with mr. pirner. -- carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning cause changes in the atmosphere and oceans that portend harm to people and ecosystems? senator, i am not going to enter into that particular debate. that if wed argue is are going to control carbon emissions, it has to be done in a way that can work, and that is proposal and the first the epa laid out in our state and the was not feasible at all. >> why are you unwilling to answer a question at a hearing that is as simple as do carbon emissions cause changes in the atmosphere and oceans that portend harm to human beings? why are you not willing to enter what you call a debate?
7:15 pm
>> senator, because i am not an expert in that particular topic. i would like to ask the same question. >> i think you can find scientists that say both, yes and no. >> what do you think? >> i am not an expert either, as the other witness indicated. huffman, do carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning college's changes in the atmosphere -- that the science would indicate that our climate is changing. i think there is a lot of --, unfortunately we are having the debate in the wrong place in our country. we are reduced to name-calling whether you don't believe in climate change. surely it is changing. what we need to debate is what we need to do about it.
7:16 pm
i don't know that we have come together as a nation on that. >> well, clear enough for me. let me say for the record, i think every national lab, the u.s. military, nasa, moaa, everyone of our state universities, would have found that an easy question to answer with a plain and simple yes. thank you. >> senator bozeman. mr. chair your testimony, you cite a dramatic decrease in time and tolerance for state implementation plans, and dramatic increase in the npa -- epa plans under the administration. as depicted in this chart, the obama epa has taken over state , more than thees
7:17 pm
three previous administrations combined times 10. , are youkeogh concerned about this trend? isn't it true that the federalism structure and plans are intended only as a last resort? >> thank you, senator. we are concerned about his trend. we understand as a state that federal plans may be necessary from time -- sometimes. sometimes, states do not act or choose not to act but the frequency of these has become so alarming that -- mainly because they take a federal solution that may be developed in a very short period of time, with , where weformation have dealt with what can be a reasonable should -- solution, we vetted with transparent processes and search out whether we have unintended consequences.
7:18 pm
that is our biggest concern is that we replace our well-thought-out judgment with the muddy else's solution that may not have seen the same -- with somebody else's solution that may not have seen the same thoughtful process. >> as you know in the regional program, states develop implementation plans. epa has limited authority to reject the plan and issue a federal plan instead. still yet in arkansas, the epa rejected our state when and proposed an expensive federal takeover. is it true the state plan was on track to achieve natural ability conditions -- visibility conditions? >> yes, sir. plan, tois proposed the epa go beyond its limited procedural prescribed by the clean air act? >> in arkansas, we do believe so. in fact, when i asked epa when the effort of the federal expanded the they
7:19 pm
scope of the regional plan to include resources that were not legally authorized, epa answered, because we can. >> how are the requirements under the federal plan interacting with the other plan -- are those timelines intertwine in a complicated way? >> they are for arkansas, at least. our state air experts that evaluated those rules, and has diligently to assess impacts and solutions, looked at models. i think it is important to show that the model under the plan, where they effectiveness,nt they could install multimillion itlar equipment and do cost-effectively.
7:20 pm
however when you look at the models and timelines of the clean power plan, the same source no longer operates if you leaders -- a few years later after the controls are in. told that would be a very costly pay for, only to have the source shutdown to comply with the subsequent rule. >> thank you. ali, you mentioned about the unfunded mandates. i think that is something that i think we can all agree on is a real problem. some of these things, we are having trouble on agreement. but the unfunded mandates is a problem. can you address that a little bit? senator, it has a always been an issue. the funding for the vast majority -- and i don't know the
7:21 pm
number, of our environmental regulatory programs in the states, is provided by the states. in our case, there's a lot of special revenue type fees and assessments that we regulate. i don't know that i have ever seen any comment on analysis by epa when a numeral was imposed, or new guidance. there is never an analysis done that i have seen that would indicate what the costs are that are associated with it. >> thank you, senator chairman. >> thank you. senator markey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. name,ou are like a first like madonna. thank you for being here. some of your fellow regulators have expressed concern about not being able to comment on epa rules.
7:22 pm
the clean power plan changed significantly from the draft to nputl form, based on im from the states. do you find that the epa is listening in terms of the flex ability, and the concerns you have been expressing? >> i absolutely do. especially in terms of clean power plants. i think stakeholder involvement was unprecedented in that effort. we see marked difference between what they proposed, and what was finalized. we see our comments reflected in the changes. >> earlier in the hearing, there was a discussion of the number of deadlines approaching for the clean air act. the massachusetts department of environmental protection has inresponded with chairman
7:23 pm
the chairman for this hearing, and he notes that massachusetts will meet the deadlines. will delaware meet the deadlines, as well? >> we absolutely will be. >> will vermont be able to make the deadlines? >> we absolutely will be. i want to acknowledge that under the clean power plan, we don't have regulated entities. we don't have an obligation there. in answer to your earlier question, there was an evencedented involvement, in vermont of the development of the rules, because we are concerned that whatever the implementation is, that it could include the regional greenhouse gas initiative we are part of. >> let me follow up with you. the safe drinking water act allows aides to manage public water systems within their jurisdiction, if they meet national standards set by the epa. given the ongoing situation in flint, michigan, it is clear we still have a long way to go to ensure safe drinking water for every american. what are the ways that we can
7:24 pm
enhance federal state cooperation to ensure safe drinking water for all in our country? this is an area where we are having direct experience right now. we have an issue with a chemical, which was not carcinogen,nd a that has been found in wells in bennington. it is a chemical used in the making of teflon. we rely on the epa and scientific expertise to help us manage that. in addition, they have come out with no rules and standards for someimits in copper and other things we can find in our drinking water. this is an area of partnership that is really important, the standards that they step help us -- that help us ensure that vermonters are healthy when
7:25 pm
they take water from the taps. climate are all aware, change is a global problem. solutionsuires local in order to solve the problem. pope francis, who taught high school chemistry, came to congress to preach his sermon on the hill to us, to tell us that the planet was warming, and the science proved that, and that human beings were contributing, and that we have a moral responsibility to be the leaders for the planet. my question is, since both delaware and vermont are part of the regional greenhouse gas initiative, which has been partnering now for 10 years to reduce greenhouse gases, can you talk about how the epa has been coordinating with you to ensure that this problem, this global
7:26 pm
warming problem, can be solved by cooperation amongst the states and working with the states? >> thank you for the question, senator. they have been. one of the key comments we made at the proposal was for epa's final rule to accommodate, and use the framework we already set. it has certainly been accommodated. we think our solution is a very good solution, that can actually be expendable nationwide. >> thank you. i appreciate the interstate aspect of this, and of course the international aspect europe but there has to be cooperation. the congressman from western massachusetts and i introduced the first acid rain bill in took until 1990 to pass .
7:27 pm
that is because people in ohio were putting football field high smokestacks into the air, blowing the smoke towards us. we were the ones principally affected, vermont and all the new england states. it is clear that unless we work together, we can't solve problems of that magnitude. we thank all of you for your work. thank you. >> thank you. senator fischer. >> thank you mr. chairman, and senator boxer for holding this hearing. thank you to the witnesses for coming. the nebraska department of environmental polity shares in the concerns that have been expressed that -- by many of the witnesses today. -- in the letter expressed, our state has written, while nebraskan has a hip, working relations recent regulatory actions have snowballed. epa's compulsive tinkering with standards and limits, often before states have a reasonable
7:28 pm
chance to comply, make it difficult to reconcile those often competing priorities. , in your pirner response letter that was sent to the committee, you state nearly all new federal requirements will have an impact on your state, its citizens, and economy, but will produce little or no benefit to protecting public health and the environment. like my home state of nebraska, south dakota is a rural state that hosts many unique and critical national resources -- natural resources that benefit citizens and communities. can you please elaborate on the challenges many rural communities will face as a result of expensive epa regulations, and what are the termsic impacts oin of job growth? -- part of i think my concern is that, on the water
7:29 pm
quality standards that i talked about in my testimony, it is not that we are against having a minimum dander -- standard. but now we are ratcheting those standards down to such a degree, as to be almost infeasible in some cases. just talk about the ammonia standard. we were one of the first states to include ammonia as a water quality standard. it can be toxic to fish. we agree with that, and we agreed that all of the large cities have what is called tertiary treatment, that treats for ammonia, and had for many years. but we ratchet that level down, and now we have to install even more treatments. can we -- basically the new standard is based not on fish
7:30 pm
anymore, it is based on mus sels. els i say, how did the muss do it when we did not treat? biologist, but what i do understand is that the levels are getting down to such a point as to be cost prohibitive. that concerns me, because if we do try to comply with those standards, we will be standing -- spending a lot of time and money that could be spent in other areas. >> right. nebraska department of environmental quality discussed the need for streamlining, furthers federal requirements. we are always worried about unnecessary duplication. do you agree with that statement? in your experience, do you see duplication reoccurring, as a reoccurring theme among state regulators as they try to
7:31 pm
interpret and implement these mandates? >> i'm not sure i understand the question. you mean between the state and epa? yes, but also between federal agencies. it is not just epa that comes down with standards, but you have other agencies as well. >> we certainly have other federal issues with the corps of engineers, the bureau of land the forest with service. there are many other federal agencies that we believe are infringing upon states rights, besides the epa. >> how much time does that add, when you are trying to meet regulations, when you have different agencies out there that are piling on? >> senator, it is certainly a concern.
7:32 pm
in our department, we are relatively small. has 14 forir program the whole state. monday clean power plant came out, we took two of those people, and they worked when it first came out, we were trying to do comments and figure out what was going on. the final rule came out and we had to go through the process all over again. basically, we processed somewhere around 80 air-quality permits per month that our renewals, and so on. the 14, to devote to just the clean air plan. >> in your testimony, you talk about the rule to regulate coal ash. preempt the will existing solid waste permit that is currently administered in your state. to my understanding, the apa is
7:33 pm
encouraging states to amend the state solid waste management plan. are you concerned about the timing for that? >> yes, senator. very much so. again, we believe the existing permit was adequately protecting the environment. now there is a host of new requirements that somehow, we have to merge in with the existing permit, and we have to try to figure out how to do that, and disrupt the manner to both the agency and the industry. >> are you limited in your flex ability? -- flexibility? >> all i can say is our negotiations with the region eight are ongoing. >> thank you. senator gillibrand. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as you know, new york and vermont share lake champlain, and both are part of the basin program. working with epa to improve the water quality is very important
7:34 pm
to both our state's great is my understanding that the epa and vermont have been working together to establish a new total maximum for lake champlain. could you of accident -- elaborate on how the epa has been working to negotiate the agreement? >> this is a perfect example of an agreement that could have been seen as an overreach, but instead has ended up with a pass th/offers us an innovative opportunity. lake champlain suffers from terrible algae blooms and phosphorus illusion. unlike -- pollution. unlike in the 70's and 80's it is not because of what is, coming out of wastewater treatment facilities, as much as coming off of the landscape. it is nonpoint source press -- pollution, precipitation driven. tmdl were walking on a new
7:35 pm
for lake champlain, we had been working on it for four years. they could have done it on their own, but they engaged us, because they understood if we want to clean up the lake, be we understand what it is like to involve municipalities, farmers, and business leaders, and the transportation development in managing stormwater driven pollution. it has been tremendously successful. we are waiting for the final tmdl to come out. we already have a plan to implement that has been passed by the legislature, including funding. i'm happy to share in more detail with any of you, because i think it is really a gold standard for this cooperative federalist approach. >> thank you. in your written testimony, you wrote that pollution is not on state lines, which is why we see
7:36 pm
the value of having national standards. , your. mirzakhalili most importantur responsibility under the clean air act is to protect the health welfare of our citizens from the harmful effects of pollution. can you describe how pollution in one state affects citizens in another, and from your perspective, the health of citizens in vermont, or new york benefiting? and you agree that the epa has ,ot overstepped its authority given the clean air act. >> certainly, thank you for the question. delaware and vermont, the northeast is a perfect example
7:37 pm
of states suffering from air pollution transport. the epa has come up with a transport rule recently to allocate responsibility, and establish how much each state contributes to the other. we have been to think they have not gone far enough. we think the epa needs to do more. steps were transport do about five years ago. i think some of the deadlines easy here are the result of things not getting done when they were supposed to get done. absolutely, i think the epa should do more in this area, and i think we stand to benefit from them. we cannot meet the air-quality standards. over 90% of the air-quality resources have been allocated to upwind states.
7:38 pm
i cannot come into compliance with that. >> do you want to add to that? >> that is our experience, as well. we are barely in compliance in a number of parts in vermont. of course, we have no contributing industries. it is all of wind states. we have tried to negotiate, we have tried to sue. epa has had rules on the books. we are very pleased to have come out with deadlines, because that will make a difference to the health of the people in vermont. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator gillibrand. senator sullivan. >> thank you. i want to thank the palace for their -- panelists for their testimony on a very important topic. i think it is very clear on this committee, we are all very committed to clean water and clean air. there has been a lot of focus on
7:39 pm
flint. certainly, nobody wants to have our drinking water have poison in it. the issue with clean water has certainly, because of that. i am really interested in having to work with my committee members. in my state, we had entire -- had entire communities in a left at that do not have running water or flushing toilets. thousands of americans. that is outrageous. i want to not only address wind, but other places that do not have any of the benefits most americans assume they have. this is something we need to fix, not just in other places in the country. , i want to follow up on you. i think your statement sums up a
7:40 pm
lot of the frustrations a lot of us have. the epa stated, because we can. can you elaborate on that a little bit more? i find that remarkably arrogant. i find that an agency that certainly dismisses the rule of is examplek there after example after example. i am always surprised, why this committee on a bipartisan basis, if not more focused on making sure federal agencies follow the law. right now, the epa, in the last .wo supreme court terms lost the epa versus michigan case has a stay, where over 30 states have sued. then unprecedented action,
7:41 pm
u.s. supreme court put a stay on the clean power plan. the epa is losing every single major role that they -- rule that they are undertaking in the courts. obama administration officials, other officials who are federal judges, saying the epa is overstepping its legal bounds. you may have seen what gina mccarthy was saying on tv, when asked if she thought they were going to win the case. she said yes. they didn't. but then she said, even if we don't win the case, it was three years ago. 's companiesstate are already in compliance. investments have been made. we will catch up. lose, we win, because everybody has to abide by the law. i think that is outrageous.
7:42 pm
it is the source of frustration that so many americans feel. can you just elaborate on this, because we can quote? i just find it the height of arrogance. the epa is supposed to abide by the law. the federal courts are showing in the last three years, that they don't. because we can is not an appropriate answer. >> yes, sir. thank you. it is disheartening. we asked state regulators find ourselves in that position every day, as we affect regulation to make sure we follow the law set forth. >> of course, that is what we are supposed to do. >> it is frustrating. shortedly, i had very notice this federal plan was coming at the time. i felt like it was a genuinely honest question to understand, so i could communicate effectively why it requirements would be added to the state plan.
7:43 pm
it was very disheartening at a minimum, and very frustrating, or perhaps a violation of trust, to answer it with "we can." >> said they did not attend the site a law, they just said, "because we can"? >> the discussion came out of a statement arkansas made that we are on the right path with the compliance, and we were doing everything we could to comply with the law. they went in and beyond that statement, discussed a provision about greater progress, and how they could require additional phrasements under this of rate of progress. we questioned that, because we already have a rate of august that sure didn't the timeline -- shortened the timeline. we were going to comply early.
7:44 pm
there is a phrase in the law that says we can go beyond sources to seek a better rate of progress. that was where they left it. we did not end with a positive outcome. obviously, we continue to discuss that with the epa today. >> do i have time for one more question? >> we don't have time to go ahead. >> i just want to follow-up on the issue of consultation. i have been the attorney general of the state of alaska and the commissioner of natural resources. we often found that the consultation either didn't exist, or was very cursory. yet, in every statute we are talking about, the clean air act, clean water act, every epa-focused statute, the consultation requirement is not optional. it is mandatory.
7:45 pm
-- iany other witness it would like any other witnesses, if you have a sense of, do you of justconsultation check the box, or do they actually see your concerns? one thing we see is a one-size-fits-all rule from washington rarely works, whether it is alaska, or vermont, or arkansas or south dakota. i'm wondering about your experience with mandatory consultation. do you feel that you are getting -- i will start with mr. pirner. senator, i think it is more that they check the box in my opinion. a lot of these proposals that come out through the public comment period, we comment along with everybody else. power plan, they
7:46 pm
received 1.6 million comments. are dodging the state, the federal process, i would not consider submitting one set of comments, which we submitted under the governor's signature, as being a state and federal agency consultation. >> anyone else on the consultation issue? >> senator, if i may. i cochair a committee at the national association of clean air agency's. i can tell you that the epa is present on every call they attended. that is not just with my midi, it is with other committees -- my committee, it is with other committees. theira staff brings thinking, they share early drafts, and they explain. that may be a good place to plug in a conversation. better?ey do
7:47 pm
in some instances, yes. there is friction and tension between guidance and flex ability -- flexibility. rulemaking is rigid, guidance give you a little bit more flexibility. minimums at the standards, guidance provides technical assistance. the rest of it is our responsibility to collaborate and get it done. >> thank you. >> i would add to that. i am on the executive committee of the environmental council of the state. epa is at every meeting, and comes on to monthly calls if we asked them to. ali, they have made themselves remarkably available to us. region, they are
7:48 pm
offering tremendous flexibility in terms of how we are going to be managing our obligations under our delegated programs. of course, they could always do better. one of the places is, there is a difference between listening and agreeing. i think they do a great job listening. they don't always agree. that is really, in part some of the frustrations you hear from my colleagues. in this administration, we tend to agree with them more, so w are not dissatisfied with the level of attention we are getting from them in this dialogue. >> thank you. mr. huffman, do you have any thoughts? >> senator sullivan, we have to cut it here. >> ok, mr. chairman. there was no one else here, so i was wondering. >> senator boxer wants to have
7:49 pm
the extra time. >> usually, in most committees, if there's no one else here and we had questions, it doesn't seem to be a big hassle. i will submit questions for the record. >> ok, thank you. senator boxer, take whatever time you need. >> that is very sweet of you. my colleague, senator sullivan, raised the issue. we looked it up. epa has won 70% of the cases before the supreme court. as a matter of fact, in the 30% they lost, sometimes they lost because they were not doing enough. we can send you the memo on that. i think that is important. i also think it is important to clearly, thatct, should be in evidence. this is one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. we know that.
7:50 pm
to think that the federal government would not be an important partner to the state is wrong. i know some of you say it is time for them to be a partner. i want to pick up on what mr. pirner said. this has been a great panel, by the way. all of you have been very articulate, and it has been interesting. you said in the 70's we had had terrible error pollution -- air pollution. it makes sense. now you say, it is so much better, the epa is going to far. that is essentially what you said. i have to give you some facts that i am going to put in the record with the chairman's agreement. this is important. 11 million americans have copd, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. million.
7:51 pm
22.6 million americans have asthma, including 6.1 million children. there are 1.68 million estimated new cases of cancer in 2016. , itit there and say that seems to me, strange. you are in such an important position to help those people. maybe, some of them living in your state, some of them living in neighboring states, and to say you have a great relationship with the state and then it will be fine, it is just not a fact. , you are here and giving testimony to the committee, and it has to be truthful, and i know you were. over the next week, can you send me the name of who told you, the name of the person who said, we are ordering you to do this because we can? i want the name of that person. whoever said that was absolutely wrong, and i don't want people
7:52 pm
to just throw it out. put that in writing confidentially, i would greatly appreciate it. i want to find out why they would say such a thing. i just think overall, this panel has really proved a point. point younother complained about. right now, there are 331 hazardous ponds, that could, if not improved, lead to a loss of life. maybe you can sit there and say what you say, but when i swear to protect the people, i'm going to do it. this is the environment committee. this isn't the pollution committee. we have a different view of the role of the federal government. i think it is very fair. but at the end of the day, this is one nation. setting minimum standards,
7:53 pm
making sure the people are protected, whether they are in my state or a state adjacent, where the pollution from my state may actually go to another state, i have an obligation, even in my state. by the way, we have 40 million people, and a lot of pollution and industry. we try our best. we do have forest fires. we have national disasters. we have an obligation. my state does not complain about it. they just clean up their act. it is just a function of what is right, what is morally right. you can measure the progress as you look at the health of the people. this is not just some conversation about the meaning of the 12th amendment, 10th amendment, or the first amendment. it is about the health of our people. we should do everything we can to protect their health and as long as i'm vertical,, that is what i am going to be working on. thank you. >> thank you, senator boxer. anything else?
7:54 pm
>> no. >> ok. let me make a final comment. it seems like every time we had a hearing, it ends up being a global warming hearing. let me just share my personal thought, that the climate is always changing. i have said this on the senate floor. i can't remember, i wasn't alive we went through a period when they first started using -- another ice age. was the first time they used global warming. that changed in 1945, when that was another ice age. and then of course, that changed in 1975 of. ab -- in 1975. a changes about every 30 years. in 1945, they had the highest co2 emissions in the history of this country.
7:55 pm
that precipitated not a warming period.but a cooling i think that has to be said. i know the public understands that. badn remember when i was a guy, and we were talking about this, back in 2000. at that time, it was considered to be the number one it is number 15 out of 15. so people have caught on, and they will enjoy it continuing to bring that up. last thing is, we all want a clean environment. when you mentioned the clean air act, and all these other acts, we were all for them. i was back then. i was an initial sponsor of the clean air act. with that, we will enter -- adjourned. i will have one quick word with mr. huffman and ms. markowitz. thank you. >> that was good.
7:56 pm
>> yes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] o
7:57 pm
7:58 pm
7:59 pm
8:00 pm
>> tonight on c-span, the body of nancy reagan is brought to the reagan presidential library ahead of her funeral on friday. politico hosted a discussion on u.s.-canadian relations and talk about u.s. foreign aid policy. former first lady nancy reagan died on sunday at the age of 94. today, her body was brought to the presidential library in california where her husband is reposeand will lie in until her funeral on friday. her body arrived by casket earlier today.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on