Trump EPA finalizes 70 ppm ozone standards. Environmental, health groups seeking lower limits could challenge EPA move in courts

January 5, 2021

The Trump administration on December 23rd finalized a 5-year-old air quality standard for ozone pollution despite calls by environmental groups to toughen the rule because people harmed by air pollution are more vulnerable to COVID-19 according to a Reuters News report.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which retained the 2015 standards in the final month of U.S. President Donald Trump’s term, said it had streamlined the review of the air standard and completed the rules within five years after the Obama administration proposed it, as mandated by Congress.

The finalization limits ozone levels to 70 parts per billion (ppb). The Obama-Biden EPA had increased the stringency of the standard to that level from the 2008 standard of 75 ppb.

Long-term exposure to ozone can damage lungs and boost medical bills. It is emitted by vehicles, power plants, boilers, and refineries, and is a main component of smog. The primary precursors of ozone are NOx, CO and VOCs in combination with sunlight.

Studies have shown that people who have suffered health problems from long-term exposure to air pollutants, including ozone, can face increased risk of getting COVID-19.

President-elect Joe Biden, who takes over on Jan. 20, has promised to roll back actions that the Trump administration has taken to ease environmental regulations and to toughen standards on pollution.

The EPA move could be challenged by environmental and health groups in the courts.
Lawmakers from industrial states praised the move saying it protects health while avoiding business costs as economies recover from the pandemic.

The standard “supports local communities now fighting to get back on their feet, while continuing to drive improved air quality under existing programs,” said nearly 30 Republican U.S. congressional representatives in a statement.

What this means to you
On December 23, 2020 the Trump Administration EPA finalized a 5-year-old air quality standard for ozone pollution. The finalization retains the 2015 standards and limits ozone levels to 70 parts per billion (ppb). The Obama-Biden EPA had increased the stringency of the standard to that level from the 2008 standard of 75 ppb. The EPA move could be challenged by environmental and health groups in the courts.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine emission control of ozone precursors, NOx, CO and VOCs.