Ozone rules delayed by EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency will not meet its July 29 deadline to issue final rules tightening ozone standards, according to news reports.

“Following completion of this final step, EPA will finalize its reconsideration, but will not issue the final rule on July 29th, the date the agency had intended,” EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan was quoted as saying. “We look forward to finalizing this standard shortly."

The rule is currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The agency is reconsidering rules issued in 2008 during the Bush Administration that cover both primary and secondary ozone standards. EPA sets primary standards to protect the health of sensitive groups such as the elderly and small children. Secondary standards protect the public welfare and the environment from visibility impairment and damage to animals, crops and buildings.

There was no word on when the agency now expects to issue the final rules.

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