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New EPA Ozone Levels Threaten NC Jobs and Manufacturing

study released today by the National Association of Manufacturers paints a harsh reality for North Carolina if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moves to lower its ground-level ozone (smog) standard later this year. In December of this year, the EPA will decide whether to pursue tighter National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone.

In North Carolina, a new federal ozone standard could put 127,000 job equivalents at risk annually and cost the state’s businesses $98 billion in added compliance costs, according to the study. A stricter ozone standard could also reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product by as much as $3.4 trillion through 2040 and dramatically increase energy costs across all sectors. Other estimated impacts to North Carolina economy outlined in the study include:

  • $150 billion in Gross State Product loss through 2040
  • 127,360 fewer North Carolina jobs (or job equivalents) each year through 2040
  • $98 billion increase in total compliance costs across all state sectors from 2017 – 2040
  • $1,820 more paid by North Carolina households annually in the form of lost consumption
  • Up to 32 percent increase in household natural gas prices and up to 15 percent increase in household electricity prices nationwide
  • Estimated shutdown of 24 percent of North Carolina’s coal-fired generating capacity
  • Learn more here

As North Carolina manufacturers rebound from the Great Recession, the North Carolina Chamber is supporting initiatives to spur job creation and increase innovation and technology development. A new ozone rule directly threatens this progress and deals a major blow to North Carolina jobs and manufacturers.

The North Carolina Chamber issued a press release with the study this morning and will continue to reach out to state and national leaders and regulatory agencies to educate them on the real consequences of this impending regulation.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber