EPA distorts health benefits of mega-costly clean-air rule

16-Jul-2015

EXCLUSIVE: The Environmental Protection Agency is exaggerating the  potential health benefits—especially for children—it says result from a new rule that will set sharply lower ozone levels across the U.S., according to a detailed study of the EPA model. The study  concludes many of the supposed benefits may already exist under current EPA standards.

The ozone rule, slated for publication in October is billed by its critics as the most expensive regulatory change in American history. Estimates of the cost of compliance, for industries and all levels of government, run as high as $1.1 trillion, and the negative impact on  U.S. Gross Domestic Product is estimated to run even higher. 

The current U.S. ozone standard, set in 2008, allows a maximum 75 parts per billion (ppb) of “ground-level ozone” —down from 84ppb in 1997-- and is still being implemented. The new standard being considered by the Obama Administration’s EPA is likely to fall between 70 and 65 ppb, though levels as low as 60 are being examined—as well as the current standard. 

The expert study was submitted to EPA by members of a Washington-based organization named NERA Economic Consulting during a three-month comment period after the proposed ozone rule change  was announced last December. According to the federal government’s regulations.gov website, the ozone rule change has drawn some 437,000 comments of varying sophistication from a broad array of Americans, ranging from ordinary citizens to environmental activists to state and local officials and industrial associations. (by George Russell, Fox News)