EPA Proposes Stricter Standards for Smog
On January 7, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced its strictest smog health standards to date, noting that smog is linked to numerous health problems. The EPA stated that it “is proposing to replace the standards set by the previous administration, which many believe were not protective enough of human health.” The new standards will result in a large increase in the number of counties violating ozone standards.
The EPA has set out an estimated timeline for implementing the proposed standards. States must make recommendations for areas to be designated attainment, nonattainment, or unclassifiable by January 2011. The EPA will make final area designations by July 2011 and the designations will become effective in August 2011. States must submit state implementation plans to the EPA in December 2013. The deadlines for meeting the primary standards will be set between 2014 through 2031, with the exact deadline to be determined depending on the severity of the problem.
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