Hearings Set for Proposed Air Quality Standards for NO2

(July 9, 2009)

Hearings set for August 3rd and 6th will allow concerned citizens to weigh in on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed revisions to the air quality standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a potent form of air pollution. The American Lung Association will be there to call on EPA to better protect public health with a stronger standard, which will become the official outdoor limit for this dangerous air pollutant.

“Strong scientific evidence tells us that the current NO2 standard fails to protect public health,” says Janice Nolen, American Lung Association Assistant Vice President for Policy and Advocacy. “Some of the people most exposed to this pollutant live or go to school near major highways where NO2 levels seem to be the highest. It is time for EPA to follow the science and adopt tighter standards to protect the health of all Americans.”

Changes to the national air quality standard for NO2 pollution will become the new official limit for this air pollutant that each county in the nation must meet. The new NO2 standard will trigger federally enforced clean up measures designed to protect people from the harm that breathing this pollutant can cause.

Traffic pollution and power plants are two of the biggest sources of NO2 pollution in the United States. People living in and around Los Angeles, Phoenix, in the Northeast corridor and in the Midwest experience the highest concentrations of this pollution.

“Breathing NO2 can irritate the lungs, trigger asthma attacks and lower the body’s natural resistance to respiratory infections,” say Norman H. Edelman, MD, American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer. “People with asthma and other lung diseases, children and older adults are at highest risk for these health complications, as are people who live or work near a major highway.”

EPA must set its final rule for NO2 air quality by January 22, 2010. The American Lung Association will participate in EPA-led public hearings to advocate for air quality standards that best protect public health in all areas of the country.

The hearings are set for August 3 in Arlington, VA, and on August 6 in Los Angeles, CA. You are urged to sign up to speak at either hearing with EPA's Tricia Crabtree:  919-541-5688, crabtree.tricia@epa.gov.  Specific logistic information:

August 3, 2009, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Arlington, VA
EPA Potomac Yard Conference Center
1 Potomac Yard
2777 South Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA
(1 mile from Crystal City Metro Station)
Location & access information here. 

August 6, 2009, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Los Angeles, CA
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown
711 South Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 488-3500
Fax: (213) 488-4110