On March 12, 2008, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced the most stringent 8-hour ozone standard in U.S. history. The new standard is 0.075 parts per million (ppm), a reduction from the old level of 0.08 ppm. For more information on the new ozone standard, click here.

Interestingly enough, no one but the Administrator seems to the new standard is good. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other business groups have contended that a stricter standard is unnecessary and unsupported by sound scientific evidence. Many U.S. counties currently in attainment of the 0.08 standard will now be in "nonattainment" status under the new 0.075 standard. Environmental activists argue that the EPA "caved" and didn't go far enough – they support a standard between 0.06 and 0.07 ppm.

So what's the deal and how will this impact electrical manufacturers? Time will tell. All that is for certain is that Administrator Johnson can't seem to catch a break.


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