EPA revises smog standard

In October 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) improved America's national air quality standard for ground-level ozone—more commonly known as smog— while falling short in adequately protecting public health.

Smog is a dangerous air pollutant that is linked to premature deaths, asthma attacks and other serious heart and lung diseases.

EPA improved our national smog standard from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. However, that was the least protective end of the range recommended by the EPA's independent scientific advisors and the nation's leading health and medical societies. They had recommended a standard of 60 to 70 parts per billion.

EDF believes that America has the innovation and the determination we need to follow the medical science, and protect our children and communities from dangerous smog pollution.

The first step in implementing the health-protective 2015 smog standard is to identify the areas that have unhealthy pollution levels – formally known as finalizing the initial area designations. EPA faced a legal deadline of October 1, 2017 to take that step – but it missed the deadline. In December, 2017, a coalition of public health, environmental, and community groups – including EDF – filed a lawsuit to compel EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to carry out his duties under the law and implement the smog standard.

Smog press releases and resources