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ABC joined several organizations in strongly urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to retain the current ozone standards when finalizing the proposed rulemaking set to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone under the Clean Air Act (Act). 

The rule proposes that the level of the current standard be reduced to a level ranging from 65-70 parts per billion (ppb) from the current standard of 75 ppb. This proposal will lead to fewer projects overall and negatively impact job creation in the construction industry by creating permitting delays, potentially adding new restrictions on certain types of construction equipment and increasing costs on projects. 

The comment letters point out that if finalized, EPA’s proposed rule could potentially halt economic growth and development across the nation. A recent study for the National Association of Manufacturers projects that a 65 ppb standard would be among the most expensive regulations in history, resulting in $1.1 trillion in compliance costs and a $140 billion annual drag on the Gross Domestic Product. Moreover, the NAM study indicates that such a rule would lead to 1.4 million fewer jobs while costing the average household an additional $830 in energy expenses.

For more information on the proposed rule and its effect on the industry, read the full letter to the EPA.