More Than Three-Fourths of Virginians Are Happy with Their Local Air Quality

Study Confirms That More Citizens Are Concerned with Economic Harm of Increasing Federal Regulations Than Environmental Benefit

Washington, D.C., September 10, 2015 – According to a poll released by Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), 78 percent of Virginians rate their air quality as “excellent” or “good,” and 64 percent consider the decline in economic growth and job opportunities caused by regulations as a greater problem for their hometown than air quality. The poll was conducted to gauge public opinion in Virginia as the federal government considers the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed ozone rule. If implemented, this standard could be the costliest regulation in our nation’s history, with an annual price tag of $140 billion in lost GDP. Virginia is projected to lose $67 billion in GDP from 2017 to 2040 and the equivalent of more than 38,000 jobs per year as a result of the proposed stricter standard.

“Virginia has a long history of manufacturing and state lawmakers who have encouraged economic growth and development, but policies from Washington like the proposed ozone regulation stand to threaten that future,” said VMA President and CEO Brett Vassey. “Manufacturers and business leaders around the commonwealth are rightfully concerned with this rule, and it is time for President Obama to listen to our concerns.”

“It is astounding that in a time when people recognize the tremendous improvements in their community’s air quality, yet are still worried about the economy and job creation, the Obama Administration would charge forward with this costly ozone regulation,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers and elected leaders in Virginia are leading the way to promote and improve air quality. However, tightening the federal ozone standard now will only threaten economic growth and job creation in Virginia and across the country.”

Key findings from the poll include the following:

  • By a nearly three-to-one margin, Virginians think that a bigger problem for their local area is “less economic growth and job opportunities caused by regulations” (64%) rather than “lower air quality caused by pollution” (23%).
  • When asked about the effects of implementing stricter federal air quality regulation on their local area, the majority are concerned about the negative economic effects:
    • More than three-in-four (78%) think that stricter federal air quality regulations on their local area would increase taxes.
    • Almost two-thirds (63%) think it would make it harder for local businesses to start new operations or grow existing ones.
    • Nearly three-quarters (74%) think stricter regulations would increase the price they pay for everyday goods and services.

To read the results from the full poll, visit our website.

The poll of 600 registered voters was conducted by FTI Consulting and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 14 million men and women, contributes $2.09 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit