EPA ozone regulations threaten important Las Vegas transportation projects

EPA ozone regulations threaten important Las Vegas transportation projects.

A new report from the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Center Energy states that the Obama administration’s proposed regulation could either delay or completely cancel important new transportation projects within the Las Vegas area.

The report, titled "Grinding to a Halt," explains in detail all of the challenges that Las Vegas will have in order to meet the proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tighten U.S. ozone standards. The new standards stand at 65 to 70 parts per billion. If the area cannot meet these standards, they will be delayed.

"EPA's proposed new ozone standards are so strict that even pristine national parks like the Great Basin and the Grand Canyon won't be able to comply," Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy, said. "Las Vegas area commuters already face some of the toughest traffic in the nation, and now key projects intended to help like Project Neon, the CC-215 Las Vegas Beltway widening, and implementation of bus rapid transit are all being threatened by unreasonable standards that the region will have extreme difficulty meeting."

The Clean Air Act allows the federal government to deny transportation funding as well as stop permitting for transit and highway projects in specific areas if they cannot meet or do not comply with the EPA’s new emissions rules.

"While Clark County has avoided transportation penalties to date, it will be very difficult to avoid them in the future if new ozone standards are enacted," Dan Byers, senior director of policy for the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy, said. "Adding insult to injury, construction delays resulting from withheld transportation funding will only worsen traffic congestion, thereby increasing ozone-forming emissions."

2018 is the new deadline for showing compliance with these standards. Many areas will have difficulty in meeting the standards.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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