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Policy

Bill to delay ozone limit moves in Congress

by Cheryl Hogue
July 3, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 27

A U.S. House of Representatives committee has approved a bill (H.R. 806) that would push back the deadline for states to meet a more stringent, health-based air quality limit for ground-level ozone to 2025, a delay of eight years. The legislation has the backing of a major chemical industry group, the American Chemistry Council, which is urging Congress to pass it quickly. ACC says the bill would make it easier for companies to get air pollution permits required to construct or expand industrial plants. EPA established the new standard of 70 ppb in 2015. The legislation would put that limit on ice and maintain a weaker standard of 75 ppb that the agency set in 2008. The legislation also would require EPA to review health-based air quality standards every 10 years instead of every five years, as the Clean Air Act now specifies. The House Energy & Commerce Committee approved the bill in a 29-24 party-line vote on June 28, sending it to the full House for consideration. The Senate is considering a similar bill (S. 263).

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