The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering reducing the federal standard for Ozone levels in 2013, and that would be bad news for Lafayette, according to a recent press release issued by the Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The most recent reduction in the federal Ozone standard came in 2008, which dropped the allowable level from 84 ppb to 75 ppb. Lafayette is currently required to maintain an Ozone level of 72 ppb, and according to LMPO, a further reduction “may place the Lafayette area in ‘non-attainmment.’” According to LMPO, if Lafayette were to be designated as an area of “non-attainment,” that would mean:

[A] ‘red-flag’ in the site selection process for both new facilities and expansion, especially for manufacturing prospects. It also involves a more complex, expensive environmental permitting process that can reduce the competitiveness of existing businesses and industry.

Once in non-attainment, there is a potential risk of significant increases in economic costs (e.g., emissions controls, penalty fees) on both industry and consumers if air quality does not improve sufficiently over time.

Thursday's presentation is open to the public will begin at 1 p.m. inside the multi-purpose room at the  Rosa Parks Transportation Center, located at 101 Jefferson St.

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