If the Ozone Rule Isn’t Broke, Why Fix It?

By February 5, 2008Global Warming

More evidence EPA’s current ozone rule is working and we don’t need a new, stricter one.

EPA on Friday said 13 metropolitan areas have reduced smog ahead of schedule using early action compact agreements. These agreements give communities the flexibility to create their own plans to meet 8-hour ozone standards.

The areas that succeeded included Columbia, S.C., San Antonio, Chattanooga and Nashville.

Don’t pop the champagne cork and start celebrating yet.

EPA in March is set to announce a stricter ozone standard that critics say is unscientific, likely unreachable in parts of the country, and would bring unnecessary economic hardship and job losses.

The new rule could stymie economic growth in some areas because companies would have to install expensive ozone controls, which could prompt some to take business and jobs elsewhere. According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Bob Colby, director of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau, said his area could soon fall right back out of compliance under the new EPA rule.

“If they select a much lower number, we’d be out,” Colby said. However, he added it’s too early to speculate.

To read the full story, click here.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • John Walke says:

    Most sensible people can understand the concept that achieving an outdated, inadequate objective isn’t reason for giving up. Or worse, redefining the inadequate outcome as the best we can do or should do. It remains perplexing why NAM bloggers don’t get this.

    At bottom, it continues to be silly for this site to argue that attaining a 10-year old smog standard deemed unprotective of human health by the overwhelming consensus of expert scientific judgment is itself REASON for keeping the unprotective standard. This argument has more in common with the former Soviet Union crowing about the achievement of their notorious 5-year economic plans that, unfortunately, bore no relation to reality and did not deliver the promised good society to their citizens. (I’m serving up a softball for you to accuse EPA of being totalitarian and Communist.)

    And who are these distinguished “critics” that say a more protective ozone standard is “unscientific, likely unreachable in parts of the country, and would bring unnecessary economic hardship and job losses”? Why, it’s NAM blogger Mr. Wright himself, who said the same thing nearly verbatim on February 1st. (The word “pall” in the title of that missive was in rather poor taste, however, considering the linkages between smog and premature mortality that the latest research has shown.)

    I’m all for a robust debate and, as I’ve said before, I commend this site for its oppenness and invitation to dialogue. But when we discuss the law, let’s debate things that the Supreme Court has not already decided 9-0 just over 6 years ago, when it made clear economic and cost factors were unlawful consideration when setting air quality standards. See http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jwalke/smog_epa_and_nam_1.html. That alone dispenses with 90% of this post.

    And when we debate the science, NAM bloggers could maybe start by explaining what’s so “unscientific” about the UNANIMOUS view of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, which included industry scientists and concluded that a significantly strengthened smog standard was necessary to protect human health.

    In the meantime, congratulations to the businesses, officials and fine citizens of Chattanooga for coming together and meeting the 1997 smog standard. When the time comes to rise to the next challenge and ensure clean air for Tennesseans under an updated and truly protective smog standard, it’s good to know that job will get done by doers rather than bloggers willing to throw in the towel on the shop floor.

Leave a Reply