The state’s largest business group says the EPA’s recent proposal to classify more Wisconsin counties as falling short on ozone pollution standards will harm businesses, while environmental groups are focusing more on human health impacts.

Affected are: Racine, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties, and parts of Kenosha, Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Door counties.

These parts of the state would receive “nonattainment” designation with the EPA’s 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone. These standards, put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama administration, shifted the definition for clean air from 75 parts-per-billion of ozone down to 70 ppb.

This designation would mean more regulation to keep the current level of ozone from rising.

“Business growth in east and southeast Wisconsin will be greatly impacted by this decision,” says Lucas Vebber, general counsel and director of environmental and energy policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

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