The Environmental Protection Agency delayed the release of its court-ordered national ozone standard citing a need to consider input and better align the major pieces of the regulation. EPA said it now plans to finalize its rule by mid-Summer.
EPA was under court order to issue a proposed rule to either revise or retain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone by Dec. 1. In November, the agency issued a proposed rule on ozone to tighten the standard to 65 to 70 parts per billion (ppb), down from the 75 ppb. EPA also is seeking comment on potentially setting it as low as 60 ppb.
Freshman Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, along with Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, recently re-introduced The Energy Consumers Relief Act, which seeks to block the EPA regulations.
Lowering the standard could result in costly changes in operations for fuel marketers. Industry groups also have said it could increase the cost of motor fuels and create bottlenecks in the gasoline marketplace.
The ozone rule is considered to be one of the most economically significant regulations of all time, with some estimates putting the price tag at $1 billion.
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