The U.S. House of Representatives on June 8 voted 234-137 in favor of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 (H.R. 4775) to delay implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone for eight years.
EPA in 2015 issued a new ozone standard that lowered ground-level ozone standards to 70 parts per billion (ppb) from 75 ppb by 2017.
H.R. 4775 would push that compliance date to 2025 and also increase the time period between future EPA reviews to 10 years from five. In addition the bill directs EPA to consider economic impacts when developing future NAAQS and to study ozone formation.
The White House has threatened to veto the measure.
The ground-level ozone standards essentially define what EPA considers to be “clean air” for purposes of ozone.
Once the standard is set, the agency uses monitoring data and other information to identify areas that exceed the standards and thus must reduce pollutant concentrations. After nonattainment areas are designated, state and local governments have up to three years to produce plans outlining how they will reduce emission levels and attain the standards. It is through these plans that states often must impose stricter standards for motor fuel, such as stricter product specifications and Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements.
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