October 1, 2015
On October 1, 2015 the Obama Administration unveiled a major new regulation on smog-causing emissions that spew from smokestacks and tailpipes, significantly tightening the current Bush-era standards but falling short of more stringent regulations that public health advocates and environmentalists had urged according to this New York Times report.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the new national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone, a smog-causing gas that often forms on hot, sunny days when Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions from power plants, factories and vehicles mix in the air, at 70 parts per billion, tightening the current standard of 75 parts per billion set in 2008. Smog has been linked to asthma, heart and lung disease, and premature death.
The smog rule is the latest in a string of major new Clean Air Act pollution regulations that have become a hallmark of the Obama administration. Republicans and the coal industry have attacked the rules as a job-killing regulatory overreach. In August, the EPA. proposed climate change regulations aimed at greenhouse gas pollution, which could shutter hundreds of coal-fired power plants. But with the new ozone rule, the Obama administration appears to have tempered its environmental ambitions and sought a politically pragmatic outcome that would sit better with business.
The agency’s scientific panel had recommended a new standard of 60 to 70 parts per billion, and last year, the administration released a draft proposal which would have lowered the standard to a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion. Administration officials had sought public comment on a 60-parts-per-billion plan, keeping open the possibility that the final rule could be even stricter. And in President Obama’s first term, his first EPA administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, had recommended a rule of 65 parts per billion.
What this means to you
Ozone forms when oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) combine in the presence of sunlight. EPA’s lower ozone standard of 70 ppm will likely require tighter limits on NOx and VOCs.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn about NOx and VOC control technologies for your engines.