EPA delays announcing ozone regulation changes

The US Environmental Protection Agency asked a federal court on Nov. 1 for an extension until Dec. 31 for filing its proposed revisions of its 2008 ozone standards.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 3 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency asked a federal court on Nov. 1 for an extension until Dec. 31 for filing its proposed revisions of its 2008 ozone standards. It was the second time the agency delayed changes which EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson termed “long overdue” in January.

“EPA is working hard to finalize an ozone standard that is based on what the science tells us about this threat to Americans' health, but completing this rulemaking is taking longer than anticipated,” EPA said. “EPA is committed to signing a final rule on the reconsideration of the 2008 ozone standard by the end of the year.”

EPA said it also intends to propose the implementation plan requirements that will help ensure that state governments, local governments, and Indian tribes have the guidance they need to identify common sense, cost-effective strategies to protect public health.

EPA originally planned to announce the proposed revisions in August, but delayed it until the end of October. The latest delay shows that the proposed reduction of allowable ozone non-attainment levels to 60-70 ppb from 75 ppb is unreasonable and unworkable, an API official contended on Nov. 2.

“The industry has been clear with EPA about concerns with the proposed new ozone standard since the opening of the comment period,” said Howard Feldman, API’s regulatory and scientific affairs director. “We hope that this extension signals that EPA is being more deliberative in finalizing this rule because it realizes that the proposed new ozone standard would put nearly 100% of the United States in non-attainment and subject every state to erroneous and costly requirements.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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