NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Five EPA Rules that Will Cost More than $1 Billion

September 1, 2011

In a letter to President Obama last week asking the president to identify all pending regulations that could hurt job creation, House Speaker John Boehner specifically mentions one regulation that "will cost our economy as much as $90 billion per year."  That rule, titled "Reconsideration of the 2008 Ozone Primary and Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards," (the "Ozone Rule") is the biggest drag on growth that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formally proposed so far, says Conn Carroll, senior editorial writer for the Washington Examiner.

The EPA has published at least four other proposed regulations, however, that would inflict costs on the U.S. economy over or near $1 billion a year:

  • The Ozone Rule: Sections 108 and 109 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) direct the EPA Administrator to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for air pollutants that "endanger public health or welfare." According to the EPA's own Regulatory Impact Analysis, the new standards would impose $90 billion of costs on the U.S. economy annually, as mentioned in Boehner's letter.
  • The Coal Ash Rule: Section 3004 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requires the EPA to establish standards for hazardous waste disposal. The EPA estimates the new regulations would cost $20.3 billion a year.
  • The Utility MACT Rule: Section 112 of the CAA requires the EPA to set plant-specific maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for hazardous air pollutants, including mercury, at power plants. EPA estimates compliance with the new Obama standards will cost the economy $10.9 billion a year.
  • The Boiler MACT Rule: While generating electricity for factories and other facilities, boilers often emit pollutants. Section 112 of the CAA requires the EPA to set National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for major stationary sources using the maximum achievable control technology. EPA pegs upfront compliance costs at $9.5 billion and annual costs at $3.2 billion.
  • The Cross State Air Pollution Rule: Section 110 of the CAA requires the EPA to limit hazardous emissions form upwind states that make it harder for downwind states to meet their NAAQS. EPA estimates that the regulations will cost $1.4 billion in 2012 and $0.8 billion annually after that.

Source: Conn Carroll, "Five EPA Rules that Will Cost More than $1 Billion," Washington Examiner, August 26, 2011.


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