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Manufacturers Push Nevada To Oppose New Smog Rules

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The EPA is announcing updates to smog regulations October 1st, and manufacturers are making one last push against the new rules with an ad campaign running in various Western states. While opponents of the rules are concerned about costs, the EPA says health savings will outweigh them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqx0v08Z3-k">Ad: “We import a lot from China: Electronics, toys, and … air pollution?”

The National Association of Manufacturers began running its campaign in Nevada this week. NMA vice president Ross Eisenberg says he hopes it will spur Nevadans to contact their legislators about proposed updates to the Clean Air Act that would limit the amount of ozone states can emit.

"Anywhere from half to two-thirds of the controls the EPA says would be needed to comply with this thing are listed as 'unknown controls' -- which means exactly that, they actually don't know what they are.  The only thing left to do is start scrapping and shutting things down."

Eisenberg says companies have already done all they can, and that reductions in western states are offset by emissions from China.

"Every time there's a change in the Clean Air Act or a new regulation from EPA, industry says it can't possibly be done, it's gonna cost a fortune, it's gonna put us all out of business, and then technology moves forward and It can be done. It actually creates jobs, and the air gets cleaned up. "

That's Barbara Boyle, with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign in Nevada. 

A key component of smog, ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds -- both of which are emitted by cars and power plants --“cook” in the sun.  According to the American Heart and Lung Associations, it's a major health concern for those with respiratory illnesses, particularly children and seniors. The EPA estimates the new ozone rules will deliver up to $38 billion in annual healthcare savings, and has given states until 2025 to comply.

Mayors in Clark County, which has some of the state's worst air quality, have already voiced their opposition to the ozone rules. In Washoe, where emissions are fairly average, officials have yet to weigh in.

Amy Westervelt is a former contributor at KUNR Public Radio.