WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would halt its reconsideration of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and instead include it in a full review of the standard that may not be completed until at least 2025.
“We are deeply disappointed by the EPA’s decision to delay the NAAQS ozone review process, which will needlessly put public health and the environment at risk,” said John Graham, Senior Scientist at Clean Air Task Force. “Ozone pollution is harmful and disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. The current standard is outdated and inadequate, and as the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee recommended recently, the standard needs to be significantly strengthened, and it must be done quickly. The environment and our communities are counting on it.”
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to review and update national health standards every five years, and the current ozone air pollution standard has not been revised since 2015. EPA has a statutory obligation to set the standard at a level that will protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. As outlined in CATF’s recent comments to the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, experts agree that the current primary standard of 70ppb does not meet that requirement. Further delay in the review process will only prolong adverse impacts to public health.
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.