RadTech Says EPA Delays Ozone Standard

CHEVY CHASE, MD | RadTech International North America reports the US Environmental Protection Agency has announced a one-year extension for promulgation of initial area designations for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. The information comes from a June 28th notice in the Federal Register (82 Fed. Reg. 29, 246). RadTech reported this in a recent EHSS (Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability) Update.

The notice states: “Following the recent change in administrations, the agency is evaluating a host of complex issues regarding the 2015 ozone NAAQS and its implementation, such as understanding the role of background ozone levels and appropriately accounting for international transport. The Administrator has determined that he cannot assess whether he has the necessary information to finalize designations until additional analyses from this evaluation are available. In addition, pursuant to language in the recently-enacted Fiscal Year 2017 omnibus bill, the Administrator is establishing an Ozone Cooperative Compliance Task Force to develop additional flexibilities that could impact the designation process. In light of the analyses currently underway at the agency, the Administrator has determined he needs additional time to consider completely all designation recommendations provided by state governors pursuant to CAA section 107(d)(1)(A), including full consideration of exceptional events impacting designations, and determine whether they provide sufficient information to finalize designations. We also note that new agency officials are currently reviewing the 2015 ozone NAAQS rule. The Administrator has determined that in light of the uncertainty of the outcome of that review, there is insufficient information to promulgate the designations by October 1, 2017.”

The new deadline is October 1, 2018. RadTech says this action is expected to result in legal action from a variety of environmental, public health, and state and local government entities.

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