The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

EPA Seeks Delay for New Ozone Rules

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 8, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today asked the court for permission to delay completion of its new ozone standard in order to seek more information from the Clean Air Science Advisory Center (CASAC). The CASAC recommended a more stringent ozone standard than the current 0.075 parts per million (ppm) imposed during the Bush Administration. EPA has been considering a standard in the 0.060-0.070 ppm range.

In a statement, an EPA spokesman said Administrator Lisa Jackson "will ask CASAC for further interpretation of the epidemiological and clinical studies they used to make their recommendation." (The Hill, Politico)

API's Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman was pleased with EPA's request to delay the final rule. "We hope today's decision means EPA will simply roll this out-of-cycle proposal into the next formal ozone review, which is scheduled to begin shortly," he said.

API opposes the tighter ozone standard because it could destroy more than 7 million jobs and damage the economy, according to a MAPI/Manufacturers Alliance study. Under the proposal, even Yellowstone Park would not have complied with the new rule and could have been listed as "out of attainment." API also believes the health studies used as a basis for the ozone proposal were deeply flawed.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of an EPA request for a time extension on the Boiler MACT rules. Yesterday the agency filed a motion in federal court asking for more time to re-propose rules for large and small boilers and solid waste incinerators. EPA hopes to finalize the Boiler MACT regulations by April 2012. It hopes to complete the ozone standard rules by the end of July 2011.

Several other proposed EPA regulations are expected to go into effect on January 2. "We also hope EPA will not reconsider other costly and unworkable proposals as well, such as the greenhouse gas regulations," Howard said. "EPA's mission can and should be met through scientifically sound, cost-effective measures that allow for continued economic growth and job creation."