WASHINGTON | Agency of environmental protection (EPA) of the government of Donald Trump announced on Monday that it would maintain the american standards of air pollution by ozone set in 2015 under Barack Obama, and which were already criticized as lax by associations.
“The EPA is proposing to retain the current standards on ozone, no change “, announced the head of the agency, Andrew Wheeler, in a press conference call.
This standard has been set in 2015 to 70 parts per billion (ppb) at ground level (compared to 75 since 2008), the result of a compromise between the demands of the associations for the protection of the health and environmental sectors, and those of the industry. The Obama administration had announced that this was sufficiently protective.
Ozone is an odourless gas produced at ground level by the reaction of other gas pollutants from thermal power plants, refineries, chemical plants and cars, under the action of the sun; it is the main ingredient in “smog” that covers regularly to cities such as Los Angeles. It is bad for asthmatic people and for children, whose lungs are still developing. The ozone layer of the atmosphere, on the other hand, is beneficial because it filters out the ultraviolet rays.
The american law on the pollution of the air, the Clean Air Act requires the u.s. government to review every five years the standard, on the basis of health considerations only, and with an ” adequate margin of safety “.
Groups, in particular the American Lung Association, were agitating for a tightening of the standard to 60 parts per billion.
“We are disappointed, they ignore countless medical evidence which indicates that a standard more bass was required to protect the health of Americans,” said AFP Paul Billings, the association, which was critical of a process evaluation ” tablet “.
Andrew Wheeler has noted that the ozone concentrations in the United States declined 4 % between 2017 and 2019.