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Air quality regulations

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The API has said that the new ozone NAAQS proposed regulations expected from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on 1 December could be the costliest regulations ever imposed on the American public, all while air quality continues to improve under the existing standards.

Howard Feldman, API Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs said, ‘further tightening the current ozone standards, the most stringent ozone standards even, is a major concern because of the potential cost and impact on the economy. Air quality has improved dramatically over the past decades, and air quality will continue to improve under the existing standards. The current review of health studies has not identified compelling evidence for more stringent standards, and current standards are protective of public health.’

States have only just begun to implement the 2008 standards, according to the API. EPA’s implementation guidance for the 2008 rule has not yet been released. The challenges of meeting new standards would be massive and disruptive to the current plans already underway by states and EPA. A new ozone regulation from the Obama administration could cost US$ 270 billion /y and place millions of jobs at risk, according to a recent NERA report with state by state data.

Feldman continued, ‘with new standards that approach or are even lower than naturally occurring levels, virtually any human activity that produced emissions could ultimately be restricted. Given the continued progress in air quality under existing rules, the lack of compelling health data, and the potentially severe impact on the economy and consumers nationwide, EPA should retain the existing standards. It makes good policy sense.’

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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