The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

API Challenges New Ozone Standard

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 14, 2010

API and another trade association have filed documents against the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new short-term nitrogen dioxide (NO2) standard.

On Monday, API and the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) filed a Petition for Review with the D.C. Circuit Court and a Petition for Reconsideration with EPA.

The Petition for Reconsideration asks EPA to stop using the new short-term standard in evaluating permits required for business development and expansion. API is questioning the legality of EPA's actions.

As we recently explained in this space, there is no significant evidence that the short-term standard established in January is necessary to protect public health. EPA dismissed the findings of a scientist who found the airway response to NO2, a precursor to ground-level ozone, in asthmatics was "too small to be considered adverse." API believes EPA is over-regulating the air quality standard for political, not health, reasons.

EPA rushed to establish the new standard without completing a thorough review of the science and proper public participation. January's standard is bad public policy and places undue economic burdens on states and industries.

National ambient NO2 emissions are well below the current annual standard and will continue to be reduced by new industrial and vehicular requirements.

Since 1990, the oil and natural gas industry has invested more than $175 billion towards improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations, and many of the improvements in cleaner fuels will continue to improve air quality in coming years.