EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson is expected to announce the final rule today setting standards for ground-level ozone, with most semi-informed speculators saying the limits will drop from 80 parts per billion to 75 ppb, perhaps more.
And what would that mean? From AP:
The air quality in about 85 of more than 700 counties currently exceeds the federal health standard for smog during at least some days of the year. If the standard is lowered to 75 parts per billion, that number of counties in noncompliance is expected to roughly quadruple, according to the latest EPA estimates.
Baton Rouge-area parishes have been struggling for years to meet ozone standards — first, the 1-hour standard and then the current 8-hour standard.
To meet a third new standard, the state will need to develop a plan for each area to outline how ozone pollution will be reduced.
These plans would need to be submitted to EPA for approval in 2009 and include new strategies because ongoing strategies to reduce air pollution can’t be included.
More throughout the day as the story develops.
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