First, the article does not properly emphasize the fact that the Environmental Protection Administration just last year, based on thousands of public health studies, rejected tightening standards to 60 parts per billion (ppb), choosing instead to tighten the standard to 70ppb down from 75ppb.
That is because the link between ozone levels and public health is highly contested; with air regulators and academics questioning the fundamental science behind ATS’ claims.
Further, for many parts of the country, achieving a 60ppb standard could be impossible due to naturally-occurring background ozone. In California, the EPA recognizes that even 75ppb is currently unachievable and exempts the state from meeting the target because of pollution from China and wildfires in the west.
The economic fallout for a standard at 60ppb is certain to be severe. According to a 2014 study conducted by National Economic Research Associates, a 60ppb ozone standard would annually reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $270 billion and result in 2.9 million fewer jobs through 2040, costing the average U.S. household $1,570 per year in the form of lost consumption.
Karen Kerrigan, Center for Regulatory Solutions, a project of The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, Washington, D.C.