EPA Proposes Another Round of Burdens on Economic Activity

By January 7, 2010Economy, Energy, Regulations

We’ll have more on this after a bit more review, but for now, here’s the EPA’s release on its proposed new ground-level ozone standard.

From the Environmental Protection Agency, “EPA Strengthens Smog Standard/Proposed standards, strictest to date, will protect the health of all Americans, especially children“:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency today proposed the strictest health standards to date for smog. Smog, also known as ground-level ozone, is linked to a number of serious health problems, ranging from aggravation of asthma to increased risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease. Ozone can even harm healthy people who work and play outdoors. The agency is proposing to replace the standards set by the previous administration, which many believe were not protective enough of human health.

“EPA is stepping up to protect Americans from one of the most persistent and widespread pollutants we face. Smog in the air we breathe poses a very serious health threat, especially to children and individuals suffering from asthma and lung disease. It dirties our air, clouds our cities, and drives up our health care costs across the country,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Using the best science to strengthen these standards is a long overdue action that will help millions of Americans breathe easier and live healthier.”

The agency is proposing to set the “primary” standard, which protects public health, at a level between 0.060 and 0.070 parts per million (ppm) measured over eight hours.

The National Association of Manufacturers had the map below prepared when the Bush Administration proposed a lower standard in 2007, eventually settling on the 0.75 ppm requirement.

Each one of those counties cited below could fall out of compliance, then requiring a full-blown plan to meet the new limits by restricting economic activity. Billions of dollars would be spent by local governments and the private sector, with marginal benefits.

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