Calling a revised ozone rule "unworkable and overly burdensome," the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce challenged EPA's revised ozone regulation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today.
NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly said the ozone rule could be "one of the most expensive in history" and would threaten the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
In early October, EPA lowered the limit for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb) from a 75 ppb threshold set in 2008. Depending on their pollution levels, states have from 2020 to 2037 to comply with the revised rule.
Business groups had urged EPA not to press forward with a new rule, while public health and environmental groups had lobbied for a 60 ppb standard that they said was needed to more adequately prevent a variety of respiratory health issues.
Kelly said the standard comes at a time when air quality in the U.S. is improving. She noted that ozone levels are down more than 30% since 1980.
Chamber officials said the revised rule would slow economic growth in communities already struggling to comply with the agency's 2008 regulation.
"Through no fault of their own, many communities have yet to meet EPA's 2008 ozone standard, making it almost impossible for them to realistically meet the new standard unless they make painful decisions that the public will likely not accept," said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy.