EPA Delays Release of Revised Ozone NAAQS; Plans to Issue Final Rule By July


Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: US Environmental Protection Agency

On December 8, EPA filed a motion with a US federal court which opposes establishing a legal deadline for issuing its revised ozone standard, and indicated that it intends to issue a final rule by July 29, 2011.  (After it had missed its two previous deadlines of August 31 and October 31, EPA had indicated in a motion filed in November that it was “committed” to finalizing the new standard by the end of this year.  However, given these missed deadlines, a coalition of 14 states recently asked the court to force the agency to finalize its new proposal by December 31.) 

In the new motion, EPA indicates that it plans to use the additional months to ask new questions of its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), which would also allow for public comment; the Committee’s input would then be used to help set the new standard.  EPA argues that the delay will ensure that its final decision is “grounded in the best science.”  (The Bush Administration’s 2008 standard was set at 75 parts per billion; CASAC’s recommendation had been 60-60 ppb.  EPA’s reconsideration of that standard resulted in a proposal in January 2010 to tighten a standard to within CASAC’s recommended range.)

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