The News: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler was in Wisconsin this week to announce that the majority of Sheboygan County and Door County were being re-designated as attaining federal air quality standards for Ozone. The announcement reverses an EPA non-attainment area designation from 2012 that declared all of Sheboygan County as a non-attainment zone.
Background: A 2017 WILL report, Wisconsin’s No Growth Zones, described how Sheboygan County was being unfairly punished for air pollution generated in other states. Sheboygan County has two air quality monitors, one along the coast that largely reads air pollution from other counties and states, and one that is inland and more representative of Sheboygan County’s air quality.
Typically, federal non-attainment designations follow county lines. And businesses in non-attainment areas face an ever-growing and costly regulatory burden making it difficult to operate. WILL’s report suggested adjusting the non-attainment borders within Sheboygan County to account for the fact that the inland monitor shows the air quality attains federal standards.
This Week: EPA’s actions this week implemented WILL’s policy suggestion: EPA adjusted the non-attainment zone in the county and declared that the majority of Sheboygan County meets federal air quality standards.
The Quote: WILL President and General Counsel, Rick Esenberg said: “EPA’s decision this week helps to right a wrong and recognizes both science and common sense. We are pleased that EPA agreed with our policy suggestions, easing the regulatory burden on many Sheboygan County businesses.”