(Washington, D.C. – July 26, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it would yet again delay a decision to strengthen the nation's air quality standards to protect human health from ground-level ozone. Ozone is a main component in smog.
The final ozone health standards -- which would vastly improve human health and safety, but were opposed by business and industry groups that would have to clean up their pollution -- were due in just three days. It's unclear how long the new, safer standards will be delayed.
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) general counsel Vickie Patton released this statement:
"EPA's announcement of further delays in protecting human health from smog pollution leaves millions of Americans, including vulnerable children, breathing unhealthy air. All Americans have a right to safe, healthy air; that is the promise forged in law under the bipartisan Clean Air Act.
"EPA rules like the ozone standard are essential in helping Americans know whether the air in their communities is safe to breathe, and in ensuring that action is taken to restore healthy air wherever it's not safe to breathe.
"We at EDF vigorously oppose this delay. We call on EPA to follow the medical science, carry out the nation's clean air laws and ensure that America's children can breathe easier."
Vickie Patton, EDF General Counsel