EPA Proposes Stronger Standards for Smog

By June 21, 2007General

The EPA has just issued its news release announcing the draft rule governing ground-level ozone. The first three paragraphs:

(Washington, D.C. – June 21, 2007) EPA is proposing to strengthen the nation’s air quality standards for ground-level ozone, revising the standards for the first time since 1997. The proposal is based on the most recent scientific evidence about the health effects of ozone — the primary component of smog.

“Advances in science are leading to cleaner skies and healthier lives,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “America’s science is progressing and our air quality is improving. By strengthening the ozone standard, EPA is keeping our clean air momentum moving into the future.”

The proposal recommends an ozone standard within a range of 0.070 to 0.075 parts per million (ppm). EPA also is taking comments on alternative standards within a range from 0.060 ppm up to the level of the current 8-hour ozone standard, which is 0.08 ppm.

We’ll have reaction later in the day.

UPDATE (9:37 a.m.): And by later, we mean a couple of minutes later.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2007 – The National Association of Manufacturers today expressed concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to take comments on revising the current ozone standard by releasing a proposal that includes options, and thereby raises the possibility, of moving to a more stringent standard.

“Over the last generation, emissions of key air pollutants have dropped by more than 54 percent,” NAM President John Engler said. “This progress has been made even as our economy, fuel consumption, and population grew. It’s a success to industry’s commitment to cleaner air.

“We recognize that the EPA has a duty to protect public health, and studies have shown implementing the current standard will do just that,” Engler added. “Even though a lot has been done and spent, there is still a long way to go to meeting the current standard. Therefore we see no reason to revise the current standard.”

The NAM’s full news release is in the extended entry below.

UPDATE (10:27 a.m.) The Rocky Mountain News is quick out of the gate with a story.

UPDATE (12:37 p.m.) The AP story quotes NAM President John Engler:

“We recognize that the EPA has a duty to protect public health, and studies have shown implementing the current standard will do just that,” NAM President John Engler said. “Even though a lot has been done and spent, there is still a long way to go to meeting the current standard. Therefore we see no reason to revise the current standard.”


NAM WILL ADVOCATE PRESERVATION

OF EXISTING OZONE STANDARD

Manufacturers Urge Administration to Fully Implement Current Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2007 – The National Association of Manufacturers today expressed concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to take comments on revising the current ozone standard by releasing a proposal that includes options, and thereby raises the possibility, of moving to a more stringent standard.

“Over the last generation, emissions of key air pollutants have dropped by more than 54 percent,” NAM President John Engler said. “This progress has been made even as our economy, fuel consumption, and population grew. It’s a success to industry’s commitment to cleaner air.

“We recognize that the EPA has a duty to protect public health, and studies have shown implementing the current standard will do just that,” Engler added. “Even though a lot has been done and spent, there is still a long way to go to meeting the current standard. Therefore we see no reason to revise the current standard.”

When the current standard was promulgated in 1997, the EPA estimated it would cost the country $9.6 billion each year and more than $100 billion overall to attain the standard.

“Implementing the current standard costs industry significant costs in capital investments and is clearly paying off with better environmental quality,” continued Engler. “Because industry, agriculture, state and local regulators must continue to work together to implement the current standard, we see no logical reason why the EPA should move the goal posts during the middle of the game.”

Engler noted that because the easiest way for industry to comply with ozone standards is to switch to clean-burning natural gas, changing the standard will have a significant impact on the costs of manufactured products, electricity, and doing business in the U.S. “Unjust standards may do no good, but they have the real potential to do much harm.”

-NAM-

Leave a Reply