New EPA Report Confirms Clean Air Act is Good for Main Street America

Mar 01, 2011, 18:29 ET from Main Street Alliance

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency released its Second Prospective Report analyzing the costs and benefits of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to the U.S. population and economy. The Main Street Alliance issued the following statement from MSA Network Director Sam Blair:

"Clean air is a Main Street value and always has been.  And now we know that clean air – and the Clean Air Act, specifically – is also a big benefit for Main Street companies and their employees.

"The new EPA report showing a $2 trillion annual benefit from the Clean Air Act confirms the thrust of our October 2010 report – that the huge benefits associated with federal clean air rules far outweigh the relatively minor costs.  In a world of trade-offs, the Clean Air Act is a clear-cut winner when it comes to generating jobs and keep small business employees and their families healthy.  

"For small businesses, in particular, the upside of the Clean Air Act is huge.  Most Main Street businesses face no direct implementation or other compliance costs, but they reap huge benefits in terms of reduced absenteeism and lower health care premiums.  In fact, the downside that would be associated with a weakened federal Clean Air Act would be felt very directly by these firms.  They are the ones that would see no benefit from lower compliance costs – but all the negatives associated with more sick days, increased absenteeism and spiraling health insurance premium increases.

"If Congress is concerned about what is good for small business, it should do Main Street a big favor, keep the Clean Air Act intact and allow it to be updated as needed to ensure that the health of America's families and small businesses is protected."

The report includes the following findings about the benefits and costs of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments:

  • In 2010, the Amendments prevented 13 million lost work days, 3.2 million lost school days, and 86,000 emergency room visits.
  • In 2020, the Amendments are projected to prevent 17 million lost work days, 5.4 million lost school days, and 120,000 emergency room visits.
  • The report's central benefits estimate of almost $2 trillion in 2020 exceeds costs ($65 billion) by a factor of more than 30 to one; the high benefits estimate exceeds costs by 90 times.

The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. The Alliance creates opportunities for small business owners to speak for ourselves, advancing public policies that are good for our businesses, our employees, and the communities we serve.

SOURCE Main Street Alliance