Home________________        EPA Proposes New Smog Rules!

New Smog Rules Proposed!

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed on Thursday reducing allowable smog by as much as 20 percent in coming decades, setting up a battle with business and industry groups that feel current standards are adequate.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said existing federal standards do not adequately protect the public.

"Based on the current science, the standard today is not sufficient to protect the public health, and so I am proposing to toughen the standard," Johnson said when announcing the proposal.

The administrator also said, however, that the agency will formally take comments from business and industry groups, who strongly believe current standards should not be changed.

If finalized, the new rules would roughly triple the number of U.S. counties failing to comply with federal air pollution regulations, and business groups say meeting the new limits could cost tens of billions of dollars. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA cannot take financial considerations into account when proposing safe pollution standards.

Johnson said he was allowing the comments even though he concluded the existing standard does not protect the public health.

The agency will take comments as well from those who agree with an independent committee of scientists that advised the EPA to set an even stricter ozone standard than the one Johnson proposed Thursday. As outlined by Johnson, the EPA has proposed that the allowable amount of smog in the air be reduced from 84 parts per billion to between 70 and 75 parts per billion.

June 22, 2007



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