In a move to curb smog, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the tightest regulations ever on ground-ozone-causing emissions. The new standards would replace 2008 ozone regulations implemented by the Bush administration that allowed so much smog emission that environmental advocates took the EPA to court, arguing that the weak emissions regulation didn’t actually protect people’s health.
The new standards would limit the amount of ozone a person could be exposed to in a given area, over eight hours, to between 0.060 and 0.070 parts per million. The Bush administration EPA pegged that number at 0.075 parts per million.
The EPA also wants a secondary standard that would vary by season, in an effort to protect trees and plants from the damaging effects of ozone. In the summer, ozone levels rise, and ozone clouds drift out of cities and into more heavily wooded areas.
Naturally, this new standard has set up the usual confrontation between business that emit a lot of ozone, who argue that the new standards would be mostly ineffective and impose expensive costs that would eventually get passed on to the consumer, and environmental groups, who claim that the reducing health care costs resulting from ozone exposure will offset the price of the new regulations.
It’s always the same fight between those two, and I’m beginning to think that they doth protest too much. Geez, oil industry and Greenpeace, get a room.