Expert Comment: EPA Issues Costly Ozone Regulation

Published March 14, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued more stringent ozone regulations, reducing the allowable atmospheric ozone concentration to 75 parts per billion from 80 parts per billion.

Experts contacted by The Heartland Institute warned the new standard will not necessarily contribute to cleaner air, but will definitely have a negative effect on the U.S. economy. You may quote from these statements or contact the experts directly at the phone numbers and email addresses provided below.

“For most of the nation, ozone levels are already declining to the point that they are approaching natural background levels. Even in those relatively few places where ozone is significantly higher than the natural background, the ozone levels are nevertheless falling steadily.

“There is no scientifically reliable evidence that current ozone levels are causing substantial health harms. Yet the federal government is proposing more stringent ozone standards that will likely cost the U.S. economy at least $10 billion per year.

“Particularly at a time when our economy is under the threat of a looming recession, this is an unwise, unnecessary, and prohibitively costly step to address a nonexistent problem.”

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow, Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Administrator Johnson deserves some kudos for resisting pressure from environmentalists and not lowering the ozone standard further. These new regulations, however, continue a disturbing trend of overregulation.

“EPA failed to show that ozone is harmful at or below the current standard. Worse, it will cost billions to comply with the regulations. Citizens, companies, and state governments will be forced to devote billions complying with regulations that fail to provide any health benefits from lower ozone levels.

“Linked here is a letter I sent Administrator Johnson after we met in January, explaining the issue in more detail:”

Daniel Simmons
Natural Resources Task Force Director
American Legislative Exchange Council
[email protected]

For more information about The Heartland Institute, please contact Harriette Johnson, media relations manager, at [email protected] or 312/377-4000.