EPA Proposes Stricter Ground-Ozone Level Standards
Six years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency set the acceptable level of ground-level ozone to 75 parts per billion. That level is about to come down.
The EPA is proposing a new acceptable level between 70 pbb and 65 pbb, and is accepting comments about dropping the level to 60 pbb. The proposal is in line with requirements by the Clean Air Act, mandating the agency review the standards every five years, and is meant to better improve air quality.
Per its analysis, the agency expects the new standard to provide “significantly better protection for children… and adults,” with as many as 320,000 to 960,000 asthma attacks, 750 to 4,300 premature deaths, and 65,000 to 180,000 missed workdays prevented. The economic benefits derived from the finalized standard and resulting health improvements would also outweigh any government investment:
These large health benefits will be gained from avoiding asthma attacks, heart attacks, missed school days and premature deaths, among other health effects valued at $6.4 to $13 billion annually in 2025 for a standard of 70 ppb, and $19 to $38 billion annually in 2025 for a standard of 65 ppb. Annual costs are estimated at $3.9 billion in 2025 for a standard of 70 ppb, and $15 billion for a standard at 65 ppb.
The act would give states time to meet the new standards based on severity, with the worse expected to conform by 2020, to 2037 for lesser-affected areas. The final ozone standards are set to be finalized by October 1, 2015.
Let me preface this by saying i voted for Gary Johnson (libertarian) last time and believe that for the most part that this is America and consenting adults should live how they want to live. What's wrong with cleaner air regardless of the cost? I can't defend me and mine from pollution, but my government can and is doing so. Things are much cleaner now than when I was born in 1972 and not because of free markets. A lot of middle class people around the world (we're all connected in the economic and spiritual sense) will be kept productively employed devising ways to meet this standard. Who cares about a nominal increase in the cost of a new vehicle. Vehicles are like food, when something costs more, you just buy something less expensive. It's a mean old world and you gotta live in it.
Did our discussion of ad-blockers get moderated out of existence?
Every time I see a SULEV decal on a car, I also think of a guy who owns that car riding a lawn mower to cut his 1/8-acre suburban lawn and I think, "Yes. This all makes sense."
I seem to recall the existing standard getting a lot of flak a couple decades ago for being ridiculously close to, or in some regions lower than, naturally occurring ozone levels. But like the man above said, regulators gotta regulate.