The EPA’s new 626-page manuscript on o-zone regulations, which is accompanied by a 575-page Regulatory Impact Analysis, would reduce the amount of ozone allowed in the air from the current standard of 75 parts per billion to a range of 65 ppb to 70 ppb. This change would have great effects across many industries, and there are even talks of reducing that number even lower to 65 ppb.
These new regulations were released by the industry the day before Thanksgiving, and put a real chokehold on oil companies who are already suffering from falling gas prices. Ozone is a volatile gas that is created by both natural and man-made products. These regulations come into effect as many believe that, in high quantities, ozone can adversely effect people’s health. Most of this ozone comes from places such as gasoline pumps and both power and chemical plants.
As of right now, 45% of people living in the United States do not live in areas that are up to the current standard. Even at the proposed 65 ppb, more than half of the United States would not meet standards, Market Watch reports. Early projections by the EPA in the Regulatory Impact Analysis state that the plan will cost 15 billion dollars, and have 28 billion dollars in health benefits. This gives it an overall gain of 13 billion dollars. However, it should be noted that this gain does not come from a reduction in ozone, but rather from the decline in particulate matter that will occur due to the regulation.
Three year after these new rules go into effect, all states will have to submit a State Implementation Plan to the EPA to prove they are complying with the new regulation. This could be costly as, to comply with the new regulations, states will have to reduce things such as energy-intensive economic activity. This could most likely result in rising electricity bills as well as states having to limit permits for construction and manufacturing. These new regulations will hit everyone, large and small, except for Native Americans, who are exempt from the new plan. Many fear that the EPA’s new plan is going to be very costly, and that is something some states cannot afford .