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ATS Sues EPA Over Ozone Rule Delay

July 17, 2017 at 3:15 pm

This week, the ATS joined several other public health and environmental groups in a lawsuit to block EPA’s decision to delay in implementation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone. In 2015, the Obama EPA issued a revised ozone standard of 70 ppb/ugm3 over 8 hours. Shortly after the election, Trump EPA Administrator announced that EPA would delay implementation of the ozone standard by 1 year.

“The science is clear,” said Mary B. Rice, MD, co-chair of the American Thoracic Society Environmental Health Policy Committee. “Exposure to ozone air pollution has serious adverse health effects, including: missed work and school days, increased asthma exacerbations, medication use, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and even death,” she said. “The EPA’s decision to delay implementation of the 2015 ozone standard is not acceptable. In light of the evidence, we cannot stand by and do nothing.”

Ozone, sometimes referred to as smog, is a harmful and widespread air pollutant that can cause asthma attacks, respiratory damage and even early death. While ozone pollution threatens the health of millions of Americans, some populations are more at risk, including children and teens, people living with lung diseases like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and anyone age 65 or older.

The petition notes that EPA announced its decision without appropriate public notice and without justification. The petition further notes that EPA itself has recognized that ozone is a dangerous health pollutant that causes significant morbidity and mortality in the U.S.

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