President Obama Directs EPA to Withdraw Ozone Rule


TO:                 Environmental Affairs Committee

FROM:            Katherine Preston, ACI-NA Environmental Affairs                       

DATE:             September 2, 2011

SUBJECT:      President Obama Directs EPA to Withdraw Ozone Rule


This morning President Obama directed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the Agency’s Draft Final Rule, “Reconsideration of the 2008 Ozone Primary and Secondary NAAQS”, which would tighten the ozone national ambient air quality standards (see attached letter).  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) returned the rule to EPA, and in their letter to Administrator Jackson stated that the President “has made it clear that he does not support finalizing the rule at this time” (click here to view OMB letter).

The Agency is not under any mandate to finalize the new ozone standard, as the Clean Air Act requires only a review of air quality standards every five years.  The last ozone NAAQS was promulgated in 2008, thus the next review is not required until 2013.  OMB states that the agency did not use “best available data” in their development of the rule, and the rule is not necessary at this time given that other recent measures taken by EPA to reduce air pollution that will also reduce ozone emissions.

The letter also outlines the Administration’s concerns that the Draft Final Rule does not comply with Executive Order 13563(Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) given high regulatory costs and burdens, and the potential for increased uncertainty.

Please contact Katherine Preston at kpreston@aci-na.orgshould you have any additional questions or concerns regarding this issue.