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Business leaders meet to discuss proposed EPA air quality rules

Worry that rules will hurt Kentucky businesses, manufacturing

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 27, 2014) — Local and state business leaders gathered Wednesday to discuss the economic impacts of the Obama Administration’s revisions to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone from the current level of 75 parts per billion to as low as 60 ppb.

manufacturingPanelists shared their economic concerns surrounding the pending regulation and what it could mean for businesses and consumers in Kentucky and nationally.

Participants expressed concern that the lower levels will be too costly to maintain.

A study recently released by the National Association of Manufacturers found that the rule threatens to drain trillions from the U.S. economy in the form of loss economic output and compliance costs, all while putting millions of jobs at risk. In Kentucky, the revised ozone standards would put nearly 30,000 job equivalents at risk annually, cost state businesses $1 billion in compliance, force closure of 57 percent of the state’s coal-fired generating capacity, and drain $32 billion in output from our economy in the years ahead.

“The Kentucky manufacturing sector is one of the state’s largest employers and provides billions of dollars to the state’s economy,” said Greg Higdon of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers. “If the rules significantly lower ozone standards, it is possible that some manufacturers would not be able to afford to do business in Kentucky, and it might be hard to attract new business to the commonwealth.”

To learn more about pending revisions to ozone standards and what they mean to Kentucky, visit www.NAM.org/ozone.