HomeWashington Letter2018 ▶ 9th District Court Orders EPA to Move Forward with Ozone Rule
9th District Court Orders EPA to Move Forward with Ozone Rule

This week, the 9th District Court of Appeals ruled that the United States Environmental Protection Agency must make progress toward identifying which areas of the U.S. fail to meet the EPA ozone standard level of 70 parts per billion, which was established in 2015. The court directs the EPA to:

  • Issue non-attainment designation for all areas, with the exception of San Antonio, Texas, by April 30, 2018
  • Issue a designation for the San Antonio area by July 17, 2018

Under current law, the EPA was required to issue these ozone designations by October 1, 2017. Identifying areas that do not meet EPA Clean Air Act standards is an essential step in the process of reducing air pollution in polluted communities.

Immediately after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt took office, he announced his intention to delay the ozone designation process by one year. He later retracted that policy, after the ATS and its sister organizations filed suit challenging the delay. When EPA still failed to designate ozone non-attainment areas by the statutory deadline, the ATS and sister organizations went to court to force the EPA to meet its Clean Air Act obligations. It is clear that the EPA, under Administrator Pruitt, is trying to slow the ozone clean-up process. 

The ATS will continue to monitor, and hold the EPA accountable, in regards to its enforcement of National Ambient Air Quality Standards, including ozone and particulate matter.

Last Reviewed: March 16, 2018