Stricter Ozone Limits Would Harm Jobs and the Economy, NAHB Tells EPA

Filed in Codes and Standards by on March 23, 2015 0 Comments

factoryemissionsNAHB has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opposing the Obama Administration’s proposal to toughen limits on the national ozone standard, arguing it would harm economic development, jobs and residential construction activities.

The administration is seeking to tighten the current limit for ground-level ozone from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 to 70 ppb.

These tougher standards could have far-reaching implications for home builders. Current air quality monitoring data shows that 358 U.S. counties would violate a 70 ppb standard and 200 others would violate a 65 ppb standard.

Stricter standards would mean that vast parts of the nation would face new federal mandates. A lower ozone limit could lead to job loss and hurt local economies as they are forced to curb existing air pollution levels through cutbacks in manufacturing, factories and other industrial sources and through more stringent auto emissions testing.

Areas with fewer traditional industrial sectors such as electric power plants or factories will be forced to look towards non-traditional venues like land development and construction to achieve lower emissions that meet the EPA’s more stringent ozone air quality standards.

NAHB has called on EPA to retain the current standard of 75 ppb. Nearly a dozen state and local HBAs from impacted areas also submitted comments.

EPA projects that it will meet an Oct. 1, 2015, court-ordered deadline to finalize the rule, and anticipates that final nonattainment area designations based on 2014-2016 air quality data will likely occur by Oct. 1, 2017, if it revises the standard.


For additional information on the ozone rulemaking process, contact Tamra Spielvogel at NAHB at 800-368-5242 x8327.

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