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Ozone Rules a Major Worry for Manufacturers

Houston smogEPA ozone regulations are a key concern for manufacturers in the Houston area, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

Ross Eisenberg, vice president of NAM’s energy resources policy, told the Houston Business Journal that the metropolitan area is not in compliance with current ozone regulations – so manufacturers that emit ozone are worried as the EPA considers what level it will set ozone standards at for the next five years.

Many of the city’s plants have invested in emissions-reduction technology, but this may not be enough if the EPA raises the standard.

Houston is not alone in its non-attainment with the EPA’s most recent ozone standard, set in 2008. The EPA has designated many other major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Cleveland, St. Louis, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, as in non-attainment, along with all of Connecticut.

In July the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected arguments that the current primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone are either too weak or too strong, in a defeat for both environmental groups and business interests – but said the EPA would have to reconsider the secondary standard for the pollutant. The court reissued this decision last week.

Takeaway: Ozone standards are a major concern for manufacturers, although future standards are still uncertain following a US appeals court decision.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

Pictured: Houston on a smoggy day. Credit: Rick Kimpel via Flickr.

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