EPA Strengthens Smog Standards to Better Protect Human Health and the Environment

Posted on March 13, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Woohoo!

From EPA  (Washington, D.C. – March 12, 2008) EPA today met its requirements of the Clean Air Act by signing the most stringent 8-hour standard ever for ozone, revising the standards for the first time in more than a decade. The agency based the changes on the most recent scientific evidence about the effects of ozone, the primary component of smog.

“America’s air is cleaner today than it was a generation ago. By meeting the requirement of the Clean Air Act and strengthening the national standard for ozone, EPA is keeping our clean air progress moving forward,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

The new primary 8-hour standard is 0.075 parts per million (ppm) and the new secondary standard is set at a form and level identical to the primary standard. The previous primary and secondary standards were identical 8-hour standards, set at 0.08 ppm. Because ozone is measured out to three decimal places, the standard effectively became 0.084 ppm: areas with ozone levels as high as 0.084 ppm were considered as meeting the 0.08 ppm standard, because of rounding.

In announcing the new ozone standard Administrator Johnson also announced that he will be sending Congress four principles to guide legislative changes to the Clean Air Act.

“The Clean Air Act is not a relic to be displayed in the Smithsonian, but a living document that must be modernized to continue realizing results. So while the standards I signed today may be strict, we have a responsibility to overhaul and enhance the Clean Air Act to ensure it translates from paper promises into cleaner air,” Johnson concluded.

The four principles outlined by the Administrator recommend that the Clean Air Act and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

  1. must protect the public health and improve the overall well-being of our citizens;
  2. should allow decision-makers to consider benefits, costs, risk tradeoffs, and feasibility in making decisions about how to clean the air;
  3. should provide greater accountability and effective enforcement to ensure not only paper requirements but also air quality requirements are met, especially in areas with the furthest to go in meeting our standards;
  4. should allow the schedule for addressing NAAQS standards to be driven by the available science and the prioritization of health and environmental concerns, taking into account the multi-pollutant nature of air pollution.
More details on the revised standards: http://www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone/actions.html
More on the AQI and to see daily air quality forecasts http://www.airnow.gov
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EPA Strengthens Smog Standards to Better Protect Human Health and the Environment

Posted on March 13, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Woohoo!

From EPA  (Washington, D.C. – March 12, 2008) EPA today met its requirements of the Clean Air Act by signing the most stringent 8-hour standard ever for ozone, revising the standards for the first time in more than a decade. The agency based the changes on the most recent scientific evidence about the effects of ozone, the primary component of smog.

“America’s air is cleaner today than it was a generation ago. By meeting the requirement of the Clean Air Act and strengthening the national standard for ozone, EPA is keeping our clean air progress moving forward,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

The new primary 8-hour standard is 0.075 parts per million (ppm) and the new secondary standard is set at a form and level identical to the primary standard. The previous primary and secondary standards were identical 8-hour standards, set at 0.08 ppm. Because ozone is measured out to three decimal places, the standard effectively became 0.084 ppm: areas with ozone levels as high as 0.084 ppm were considered as meeting the 0.08 ppm standard, because of rounding.

In announcing the new ozone standard Administrator Johnson also announced that he will be sending Congress four principles to guide legislative changes to the Clean Air Act.

“The Clean Air Act is not a relic to be displayed in the Smithsonian, but a living document that must be modernized to continue realizing results. So while the standards I signed today may be strict, we have a responsibility to overhaul and enhance the Clean Air Act to ensure it translates from paper promises into cleaner air,” Johnson concluded.

The four principles outlined by the Administrator recommend that the Clean Air Act and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

  1. must protect the public health and improve the overall well-being of our citizens;
  2. should allow decision-makers to consider benefits, costs, risk tradeoffs, and feasibility in making decisions about how to clean the air;
  3. should provide greater accountability and effective enforcement to ensure not only paper requirements but also air quality requirements are met, especially in areas with the furthest to go in meeting our standards;
  4. should allow the schedule for addressing NAAQS standards to be driven by the available science and the prioritization of health and environmental concerns, taking into account the multi-pollutant nature of air pollution.
More details on the revised standards: http://www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone/actions.html
More on the AQI and to see daily air quality forecasts http://www.airnow.gov

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