Pallone Statement on Plan to Strengthen Ozone Standard & Protect Public Health
WASHINGTON, DC—Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement today regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new ozone standard, which will be set at 70 parts per billion. According to research, 4 in 10 Americans—nearly 140 million people—continue to live in areas with harmful levels of ozone pollution:
“Over the past 45 years, the cornerstone of the Clean Air Act has been a set of health-based air quality standards, which have been extraordinarily effective in cleaning the air and ensuring that the health of all Americans is protected. For too long, the standard for ozone has fallen short of that goal.
“We have heard the same tired and exaggerated claims from those who profit from pollution, but the fact remains that the Clean Air Act has helped to cut harmful air pollution by about 70 percent, while the U.S. economy has more than tripled. Most importantly, setting a stricter ozone standard will improve air quality and result in significant public health benefits, from fewer missed work and school days, to avoided asthma attacks and premature death. When it comes to the air our children breathe, we cannot just settle for the status quo.
“While I am pleased with EPA’s announcement of a more protective 70 parts per billion standard, it is not as strong as I had hoped. There is certainly more we can do to reduce pollution, but today’s announcement is an important next step towards realizing the ultimate goal of the Clean Air Act—clean air for all Americans.”