Press Statement Regarding EPA’s National Ozone Air Quality Standard

For Immediate Release

Contact: Sabrina E. Williams, 202/683-4883,


Press Statement
Center For Effective Government President and CEO
Katherine McFate
Regarding EPA’s National Ozone Air Quality Standard

October 1, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the national ozone air quality standard will be revised to 70 parts per billion (ppb) from the current 75 ppb level. While this is a step in the right direction, overwhelming scientific evidence tells us that we need an even stricter standard if we are going to get serious about clean air.  

In a May 2015 report, Gasping for Support, CEG showed that a stricter standard of 60 ppb would ensure clean air for more than 57 million additional people, including 13 million children and 8 million elderly who already have breathing problems. This figure also includes 1 million children with asthma, 3 million people with chronic lung disease and almost 3 million people with coronary heart disease who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ozone pollution.

EPA itself has projected that setting the air quality standard at 60 ppb rather than 70 ppb would prevent 1.6 million asthma attacks in children, 6,200 emergency room visits for asthma, and up to 5,600 premature deaths annually once fully implemented.

Advanced pollution control technologies exist now. Refusing to invest in these technologies today will mean higher business and social costs tomorrow, with higher health costs from respiratory diseases and more suffering and illness among vulnerable groups.

The EPA decision was a double misstep. Setting stricter standards would have encouraged businesses to invest more in clean energy solutions and would have delivered the cleaner air that the American people deserve.



The Center for Effective Government works to build an open, accountable government that invests in the common good, protects people and the environment, and advances the national priorities defined by an active, informed citizenry.

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