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The EPA will introduce new smog standards soon that will cost billions to business but be offset by gains in public health. “The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its proposal to toughen up the standards for smog-causingpollutants, which would replace the standards set during the Bush administration. The Obama administration’s proposal sets a primary standard for ground-level ozone of no more than 0.060 to 0.070 parts per million, to be phased in over two decades. The new standard won’t be cheap, but proponents say it will save money, and lives, in the long run. The EPA estimates that by 2020 the proposal will cost $19 billion to $90 billion to implement and will yield health benefits worth $13 billion to $100 billion. The proposal would result in 1,500 to 12,000 avoided premature deaths by 2020, though the precise number depends on what limit the agency adopts. Smog is linked to a wide variety of heart and respiratory diseases. Currently, a majority of the counties that are required to monitor ozone levels would not meet the new standard. If the 0.070 limit is adopted, 515 of the 675 counties that monitor ozone levels would be out of compliance.”
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