The EPA holds its second round of public hearings on its proposed new ground-level ozone standards today, with daylong events in Atlanta, Chicago and Houston. The NAM and its members will be represented at all three. Details at the EPA’s webpage here.
As we expected, the first-person stories of asthmatic children and other sufferers received prominent play in media coverage of the first hearings in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Anecdotal stories are no way to make public policy, but they certainly pack an emotional punch. (In no way do we denigrate these people’s experiences, although the connection between ozone and asthma is not so clear.)
In any case, all these people were testifying about their experiences in non-compliance areas. Their pain was caused by living in areas that have yet to reach the clean-air standards required by current law. So the pleas for even more demanding standards are based on, what…guesswork? Hopes and dreams? The theory that any more rigid standard, no matter the cost, is by definition an improvement?
The EPA should maintain the current ground-level ozone standards as an option. Once the nation reaches compliance, we’ll then have a better understanding of the health implications as well as the implications for the economy.
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