Concerned that the Bush-era smog controls were not effective enough, the Obama Administration has directed the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a review of the standards, which were released in 2008.
Environmentalists and state groups criticized the standards released by Bush, while some business groups said the standards were too tough.
Under the 2008 rule, the acceptable ozone limit in the air was 75 parts per billion, down from the previous limit of 84 ppb. However, before the EPA came up with its rule, a scientific advisory committee to the EPA had recommended limits no higher than 70 ppb. In fact, scientists said limits should be even lower, reports WSJ.com.
EPA on Sept. 16 released a six-page document saying it would conduct a review of the current standards, with the intention of publishing its findings by December and release new standards by August of 2010.
The American Lung Association applauded the EPA announcement.
“Previously, the EPA ignored the advice of its expert science advisors and the consensus of the health and medical community when it set this official national limit on the amount of ozone pollution that can be in the air,” said Charles Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer of the group.
EPA’s review of smog implications should go beyond the utility sector to include regular businesses, said Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for Washington-based Edison Electric Institute, a utility lobbying group, reports Bloomberg.