New Air Quality Standard Insufficient to Protect Public Health

WASHINGTON (October 1, 2015) – The Obama Administration today tightened the limit for ground-level ozone or smog pollution—one of the most pervasive and dangerous pollutants we inhale—to 70 parts per billion (ppb). 

The following is a statement by John Walke, senior attorney and director of the Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“The revised standard will provide real health benefits compared to today’s unsafe level of 75 ppb.  But by setting a health standard that does not adequately protect Americans against harmful levels of smog pollution, President Obama has missed a major opportunity.  EPA’s independent scientific advisors unanimously recommend a limit ‘lower than 70 ppb within a range down to 60 ppb.’

“Setting the safest recommended standard would have saved almost 6,500 lives and avoided nearly 1.5 million more asthma attacks per year than the smog pollution level the administration has chosen.  We will fend off political attacks that threaten the Clean Air Act’s guarantee of safe air based on medical science alone.  And we will keep fighting for ozone limits that adequately protect Americans’ health.”


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