Leading Health and Medical Groups Challenge EPA Over Inadequate Ozone Pollution Limits

Today the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, represented by attorneys from Earthjustice and joining several other organizations, challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) December 2020 final action to maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone pollution. The organizations issued the following statement:  

“The Trump administration’s decision to maintain inadequate limits on ozone pollution, in place since 2015, violated the law and endangered public health. The Clean Air Act requires that the National Ambient Air Quality standards protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. The science clearly shows that ozone makes people sick and causes premature death. It causes decreased lung function, coughing, shortness of breath and inflammation of the airway. Higher ozone levels are also associated with lower birth weight.

“We must reduce ozone pollution further than what the current, inadequate standards require in order to protect the health of every American, especially those at greater risk of health harms. Certain groups, including babies, children and teens; people with lung disease and other chronic conditions; low-income communities; and most communities of color face higher risks from air pollution. Strong ozone pollution standards based on the most recent science would protect their health, a goal that aligns with the Biden administration’s emphasis on promoting environmental justice.

“Our organizations are committed to securing stronger ozone standards that will save lives, as the Clean Air Act requires, and we hope the Biden administration EPA will strengthen these important protections.” 

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

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