Manufacturers Oppose Potential Tougher Federal Air Pollution Standards

Supporters Tout Health Benefits, Opponents Say It Will Cost Jobs

air pollection against a city landscape
Metro Library and Archive (CC-BY-NC-ND)  

Wisconsin manufacturers are attacking the Environmental Protection Agency over possible new limits on ozone pollution, also known as smog.

The EPA is reportedly close to issuing regulations that would lower the legal limit on ground-level ozone by somewhere between 5 and 10 parts per billion. Ozone pollution forms when sunlight and warm temperatures interact with emissions from cars and industrial sources.

Tom Riordan, president of a large foundry in Neenah, has joined forces with a national manufacturing group that is criticizing the ozone plan state by state. Riordan said what the EPA has in mind is unachievable.

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“Some initial indications are there going to be 24,000 lost jobs per year, just in Wisconsin$580 in additional costs for every Wisconsin family,” he said.

The American Lung Association is on the EPA’s side, and is urging even tighter limits on ozone. The group said reducing the air pollutant would cut the risk of asthma attacks and other health problems.