Regional Chamber Opposes Proposed Ozone Standards

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber is joining federal and state officials and business groups in Ohio to oppose proposed changes in the National Ambient Air Quality Standard rules for ground-level ozone emissions.

The chamber cited data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that showed ozone levels across the country fell more than 18% between 2000 and 2013, and a survey by the National Association of Manufacturers that found 65% of Ohio voters rated their air quality as “excellent” or “good.”

Mahoning and Trumbull counties meet the 2008 ozone standards, the chamber said. Under the proposed regulations, both counties could find themselves in noncompliance with ozone standards, resulting in punitive measures that could hinder economic growth and cause hardship for local industry. The federal Office of Management and Budget is scheduled to make a ruling on the regulations Oct. 1.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Marietta, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Howland, and state Rep. Sean O’Brien, D-63 Bazetta, have all spoken against the regulations.

Business groups opposing the regulations include Ohio Cast Metals Association, First Energy Corp., Ohio Contractors Association, Ohio Trucking Association, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 396, Ohio Oil and Gas Association, Ohio Home Builders Association, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 18, and others.

Governmental groups opposing the proposal include the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Municipal Electric Association.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.