California Needs Stronger Health Protections from Smog – EDF

February 2, 2015
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

(February 2, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding its third and final public hearing about smog in Sacramento today. Hundreds of people are expected to testify about the need for stronger health protections against the dangerous air pollutant – including an expert from Environmental Defense Fund.

EPA is holding public hearings about its proposal to update our national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, which is more commonly known as smog. 

“As in the rest of the country, communities in California face high levels of smog, with the Sacramento area’s smog problem currently designated as “severe” by EPA,” said EDF’s Larissa Koehler, who will testify today. “The most recent American Lung Association State of the Air Report gave Sacramento an “F” grade on ozone. We also know that rising temperatures from our changing climate will worsen ozone challenges in some places and that communities will need help reducing smog pollution now and in the future.”

In November, EPA proposed updating our national smog standards from their current level of 75 parts per billion to 65 to 70 parts per billion. EPA is also seeking comments on establishing a health standard of 60 parts per billion, and the scientific record shows that this level would provide the strongest public health protections for Americans. EDF recommends that EPA carry out its responsibility under our nation’s clean air laws to follow the science and adopt the health-based standards that will adequately protect all Americans from dangerous smog. 

EDF experts also testified at the two earlier hearings, in Washington D.C. and Arlington, Texas.

EPA will accept online comments through March 17. Those who aren’t able to attend a hearing can send a comment through EDF’s website. A final decision is expected by October of this year. 

You can read Larissa Koehler’s full testimony here.

EDF also has more information about the smog standards on our website.

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