Manufacturers, businesses sue over ozone rule

Manufacturers, businesses sue over ozone rule
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The industry groups most critical of new smog rules from the Obama administration are suing over those standards. 

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) limits on surface level ozone on Wednesday. 

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In a statement announcing the lawsuit, NAM reiterated its long-held arguments against the rule, calling it costly to implement and saying it threatens jobs in industrial sectors.

“The EPA’s ozone regulation, which could be one of the most expensive in history, is unworkable and overly burdensome for manufacturers and America’s job creators," said Linda Kelly, NAM's senior vice president and general counsel. "Manufacturers across the United States need regulations that provide balance and allow us to be globally competitive."

The Chamber also said the rule threatens jobs. 

“The EPA has created a web of regulations that makes it almost impossible for businesses to succeed in this already tough economic climate,” said William Kovacs, the Chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs.

In early October, the EPA tightened the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion over the objection of business groups and Republican lawmakers. Both had warned implementing the rule would be difficult and expensive. 

NAM led the charge against the ozone rule while the EPA was considering updating the standard. The group commissioned a report saying that a standard of 65 parts per billion — which the EPA had considered — could cost up to $1.1 trillion to implement. 

The EPA and the rule’s supporters have questioned those analyses, and have said the rule will help improve public health. Green groups and health organizations, though, have criticized the rule for not going far enough toward cutting down smog. 

Five states have already sued over the ozone rule, questioning the EPA’s scientific review of the standard.