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EPA delays the final issuance of the 8-hour ozone standard until no later than July 31, 2011

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has announced a delay in the final issuance of the 8-hour ozone standard until no later than July 31, 2011.  According to the EPA statement below, she will “ask CASAC for further interpretation of the epidemiological and clinical studies they used to make their [60-70 ppb] recommendation.  To ensure EPA’s decision is grounded in the best science, EPA will review the input CASAC provides before the new standard is selected.

EPA Statement

Under Administrator Jackson’s leadership, in January the Environmental Protection Agency proposed stricter standards for smog – standards that would help prevent up to 12,000 premature deaths, 58,000 cases of aggravated asthma and save up to $100 billion dollars in health costs.

The proposed standard would replace an existing standard set during the previous Administration, which many – including the Agency’s independent team of expert scientists known as Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC) – believed did not go far enough to protect public health.

Administrator Jackson proposed that EPA select a standard in the range that CASAC indicated would be protective of Americans’ health. As part of EPA’s extensive review of the science, Administrator Jackson will ask CASAC for further interpretation of the epidemiological and clinical studies they used to make their recommendation.  To ensure EPA’s decision is grounded in the best science, EPA will review the input CASAC provides before the new standard is selected.  Given this ongoing scientific review, a final standard – which will be in the range recommended by the CASAC – will be set by the end of July, 2011.

In addition to this standard, EPA is moving forward with a number of national rules that will significantly reduce pollution and improve public health for all Americans.  These include rules designed to reduce harmful emissions from cars, power plants and other industrial facilities that contribute to ozone formation.  Taking additional time to complete the scientific review of the ozone standard will not delay the public health benefits of these rules.