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Environmentalists Not Happy with New Ozone Rules

"En­vir­on­ment­al­ists have been burned by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion be­fore on smog reg­u­la­tions. Now they’re wor­ried that it’s about to hap­pen again," National Journal reports.  

"The En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency is un­der a court or­der to fi­nal­ize a rule tight­en­ing stand­ards for ground-level ozone by Oct. 1. That’s the same air-qual­ity rule that was pulled by the White House in 2011 over eco­nom­ic con­cerns, a move that left the en­vir­on­ment­al com­munity in­censed. Deep in­to a second term where Pres­id­ent Obama has been ag­gress­ive on en­vir­on­ment­al is­sues, the ozone rule won’t be yanked again. But en­vir­on­ment­al­ists are now gird­ing them­selves for an­oth­er dis­ap­point­ment: that the stand­ard won’t be tight enough."  

"Sources fa­mil­i­ar with the dis­cus­sions say that the EPA is push­ing to lower the ozone stand­ard of 75 parts per bil­lion to 70 ppb, the high end of the 65-70 ppb range that the agency pro­posed last fall. The White House could lower the fi­nal stand­ard down to 68 ppb, a seem­ingly minor tweak, but one that could re­quire dra­mat­ic­ally more pol­lu­tion con­trol. With days to go be­fore a de­cision comes out, en­vir­on­ment­al­ists are mak­ing the case that 70 ppb just won’t be enough, even as they pre­pare for it."

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