HomeWashington Letter2017 ▶ ATS Sues EPA for Failure to Enforce Ozone Clean Air Standard
ATS Sues EPA for Failure to Enforce Ozone Clean Air Standard

This week, the American Thoracic Society filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, for failure to meet the Oct. 1, 2017 deadline to identify communities where ozone levels exceed the 2015 ozone national air quality standard. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA was required to begin implementation of the 2015 ozone standard. The ATS is one of several societies taking legal action against the EPA.  

“The EPA’s delay in enforcing the ozone standard harms my patients with lung disease,” said Mary Rice, MD, MPH, pulmonologist and vice-chair of the ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee.  “Ozone exposure causes asthma attacks, COPD exacerbations, emergency room visits and even premature death.  EPA’s enforcement delay means patients like mine are denied the healthy air they need to survive.”

The first step to reducing air pollution is when the EPA designates which communities fail to meet its health-based Clean Air Act standards.  By failing to list those communities, the EPA is delaying clean-up efforts across the United States.  The ATS is seeking relief from the court to ensure EPA meets is statutory obligation to enforce the ozone standard. 

Last Reviewed: December 5, 2017