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EPA Ozone Levels Threaten NC Job Gains

EPA Ozone Levels Threaten NC Job Gains
Over the last 30 years, manufacturers have made great technological advancements to lower ozone levels. In fact, ground-level ozone levels have fallen nearly 25 percent since 1980, even as the American economy has grown. Despite this continued improvement, the EPA is now considering the most expensive regulation in history that would threaten the manufacturing and economic growth nationwide. In a guest column in the Triangle Business Journal, Bob Luddy, president of Raleigh-based CaptiveAire Systems, looks at the potential impact of the tighter air pollution standards for ground-level ozone under consideration by the EPA and the massive economic and job harm this would cause North Carolina. Luddy discusses the important balance that must be struck between environmental protection and economic growth, “Now few would question the need to protect the environmental quality of our air, water and land. The real question is how effective – and costly – massive new regulations would pose to the economy. We have to weigh these effects in the balance.”

The numbers speak for themselves: In North Carolina, this could put 127,000 job equivalents at risk annually and cost the state’s businesses $98 billion in added compliance costs, according to by the National Association of Manufacturers and NERA Economic Consulting. Luddy concludes by stating, “If the new ozone standard is allowed to go into place, we will have the sort of economic stagnation and job losses that we thought were left behind with our recovery from the Great Recession. The difference of course is that the new EPA-mandated stagnation would be entirely self-inflicted.”

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