Withdrawal of Ozone Standard Delays Critical Health Protections for Millions of Americans

September 2, 2011

Tony Kreindler, 202-445-8108, tkreindler@edf.org
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, DC — Sept. 2, 2011) The Obama Administration’s decision to withdraw its plans to improve public health protections against smog-forming pollution puts millions of Americans at increased risk of asthma and premature death, said Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

“This unfortunate decision puts millions of Americans, particularly children, at risk from industrial pollution,” said EDF President Fred Krupp. “We’re deeply disappointed that the administration has chosen to leave in place outdated standards that lag far behind what scientists have unanimously recommended.”

The existing standards for ground-level ozone pollution were set at 75 parts per billion in March 2008. That’s higher than the 60 to 70 parts per billion recommended by an EPA scientific advisory panel.

“Each year the standards are left untouched will bring as many as 12,000 premature deaths and hundreds of thousands of lost work and school days,” Krupp said.