Clean Air Board comments on EPA’s proposed ozone standard

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by law to review and adjust its public health standards for critical air pollutants every five years.  This review is based on the latest scientific and medical information.  Last November, EPA proposed to move to an 8-hour exposure standard for ozone between 60 and 70 ppb (parts per billion) in the ambient air.

The current public health standard is 75 ppb.  If a new standard is adopted, the public would alerted to more “bad air” days — days during which the air quality is worse than the ozone standard.  These air quality action days would occur during the warmer months, when pollutants bake in the atmosphere to form ground level ozone.

Our members include many people who suffer ailments from breathing polluted air.  The Cumberland Valley is at the receiving end of an ozone transport corridor which originates hundreds of miles away.  Even on days when an ozone alert has not been declared, people can and do suffer respiratory problems due to ozone.

In our letter to EPA, we highlighted some of the more recent scientific and medical studies supporting a more stringent ozone standard. Many of these studies have identified strong links between long-term and short-term exposure to ozone to specific health ailments; other studies have linked air pollution to death rates in certain areas, or have begun to assess the negative impact of air pollution on health care costs and economic productivity.

We support a more stringent 8-hour ozone exposure standard which would better protect our health.

To view CAB’s comments to EPA, click here CAB comment ozone 2015

For more information from EPA, go to http://www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone/actions.html

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