July 10, 2018
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is kicking off the process of reviewing the nation’s ground-level ozone pollution standard, a project likely to take years, according to a June 25, 2018 report from The Hill.
In a notice published in the Federal Register June 26th, the EPA says it’s taking comments from the public to prepare to initial documents for the review to lay out the plan for the review process and the scientific literature on ozone, a component of smog.
The review will take place under new standards that President Trump set in an April memo. He instructed the EPA, when setting new air quality rules, to consider factors like “adverse public health or other effects that may result from implementation” of the rules and the extent to which areas have background levels of the pollutants that aren’t caused by human activity.
Both factors have long been pushed by industry in an attempt to get more lenient air pollution standards written.
According to a report in the subscription-only Energy and Environment News’ Greenwire and reprinted by Science Magazine, the agency earlier this June published a draft plan titled “Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Costs and Benefits in the Rulemaking Process.”
Environmental and public health groups are concerned the draft plan could have profound implications for air quality standards and ground-level ozone pollution, Greenwire reported.
The EPA last set a new ozone standard in 2015, declaring that 70 parts per billion is the acceptable level for ambient air. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must reevaluate the ozone standard every five years to examine new scientific findings or other changes.
EPA head Scott Pruitt, who sued to stop the 2015 rule when he was Oklahoma’s attorney general, tried last year to delay implementation of that standard, but backtracked. He is still considering seeking changes to the standard.
What this means to you
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is kicking off the process of reviewing the nation’s ground-level ozone pollution standard, a project likely to take years. The EPA last set a new ozone standard in 2015, setting a 70-ppm limit. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must reevaluate the ozone standard every five years to examine new scientific findings or other change.
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