Illinois struggles to meet existing ozone standard while tighter one is on the way

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Categorized in: Illinois, NAAQS, Ozone

Like many other states, Illinois still has not attained full compliance with the ozone standards established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2008. The Illinois EPA is hoping that drought conditions recorded in 2012 will give them an extra year to comply, but what will they do if the EPA follows through with their plan to lower the ozone standard even further?

That’s what a lot of people in Illinois and around the nation want to know. Reducing the ozone standard from the current 75 ppb threshold to 65 ppb (or even lower) could throw vast areas of the U.S. into non-compliance, with potentially devastating economic results.

The proposed lower ozone limit could reduce Illinois GSP by $229 billion, and eliminate 186,000 jobs and job equivalents.

Speaking to the Granite City Chamber of Commerce about this, Illinois EPA Quality Planning Manager David Bloomberg said that Illinois’ ozone levels are going down, along with other air pollutants. That’s the same story found in other states. The existing EPA ozone standard is doing its job, even though many regions have yet to achieve compliance.

The EPA is not required to lower the existing ozone standard. Send them an email and ask them to keep current standards in place.

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