This bill would provide states with additional time and flexibility to implement the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revised ground-level ozone and air quality standards. The EPA’s standard lowers the allowable amount of ozone from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. It was originally proposed in 2008, but the implementing regulations weren’t published until March 2015 and were revised in October 2015 to include additional state planning requirements.
Certain deadlines imposed by the EPA standards would be delayed, including the designation of states that haven’t met the standards which now wouldn’t occur until 2026. Additionally, the 2015 ozone standard wouldn’t apply to new air permits that are completed before the EPA makes its final nonattainment designations for states that don’t meet the ozone standards.
The review cycle for National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) would be extended, so that pollutants under the Clean Air Act are reviewed over 10 years instead of five.