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Last Friday, EPA engaged in the time-honored, Washington tradition of a Friday document dump before a long holiday weekend. The agency released its final set of regulations on how states will implement an ozone standard the agency set in 2008.
But EPA isn't taking a breather. The agency now wants to lower the ozone standard further from the 2008 level of 75 parts per billion (ppb) to between 65 and 70 ppb.
Once EPA releases its new standard this fall, businesses and states will have to tear up their plans based on the 2008 standard and start over with the new one.
Talk about regulatory uncertainty.
Needlessly doing this will be costly to jobs and economic development. A 2013 U.S. Chamber study found that moving to a 65 ppb standard “would reduce worker incomes by the equivalent of 609,000 jobs annually on average from 2013 through 2037."
National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons warned a Rice University audience that EPA's efforts "could shut down manufacturing facilities and force manufacturers to scrap expansion plans – all of which harm growth."
His claimed isn't far-fetched. Just the threat of the lower standard is already costing places like Baton Rouge, LA tens of millions annually in new business investment.
It'd be better to give businesses and communities a break and some certainty by taking the new proposed ozone standard off the table.