Going Green

EPA Cracks Down on Smog

The EPA is seeking to significantly tighten limits on smog and emissions, potentially affecting local legislation on everything from power plants and cars to lawnmowers. The new rules would reduce the allowable amount of ozone in the air from 75 parts per billion to around 60 to 70 parts per billion in a given eight-hour period, a marked change from regulations set down during the Bush administration. The proposal would cost an estimated $19 billion to $90 billion, while saving approximately $13 billion to $100 billion in health-care costs. The announcement has been met with skepticism by industrial producers whose businesses would be most affected by stricter regulations, but an EPA administrator called the move a “long overdue” response to the “very serious health threat” posed by smog.