The Obama administration on Thursday proposed tighter regulations on smog to replace those imposed by President George W. Bush and, if approved, would be the most stringent in U.S. history.
The Environmental Protection Agency said the changes are needed because “many believe” the Bush administration standards failed to adequately protect humans, but the new standards were immediately attacked by leading business groups.
The agency said the changes, if enacted, will save the country $13 billion to $100 billion in health care costs. However, implementing the plan will cost $19 billion to $90 billion.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson called the regulations “long overdue.”
Director Jackson could not have stated it better.
Ozone (O3) is a toxic pungent gas that needs to be minimized. Most people have probably heard about the benefits of anti-oxidants but O3 is an oxidizing gas which these anti-oxidants are designed to mitigate. O3 breaks down to create free radicals which are simply energized molecular species that wreak havoc on the human body, in this case the respiratory system. Many known carcinogens and mutagens are molecules that create these free radical species. Obviously the noxious gases in cigarette smoke are the best example. The old saying it you are what you eat but your respiratory system in many ways is what you breath.
The initial effect of the changes will be that it will place dozens of American cities out of compliance. While the costs sound high to implement the smog reductions, implementing the new rules will not only save healthcare costs but increase the quality of life for millions. Again the GOP and business groups with try and block the real standards because when have they really cared about the health of the American people. They would rather live in a denial world with higher smog standards even if they are dangerous to humans. Of course the other caveat is that congressional action will have to act to make the limits legal.