Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Continues Review of Ground-Level Ozone Standards

Release Date: 07/18/2006
Contact Information: John Millett, (202) 564-4355 /

(7/18/06) In an ongoing effort to ensure that federal air quality standards reflect the latest air pollution and health effects research, EPA is releasing its second draft Staff Paper on ground-level ozone. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set, and periodically review, National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and five other major pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. Development of the Staff Paper is the second step in EPA's review of the current air quality standards for ozone.

Initial staff options and conclusions for the Administrator's consideration include:

  • Primary standards -- A range of health-based (primary) 8-hour ozone standards. Options identified include retaining the current primary standard at 0.08 as well as an option revising it to 0.07 parts per million.
  • Secondary standards -- Adopt a form that would better protect vegetation from ozone damage. Changing to a cumulative standard that gives greater weight to higher concentrations would accomplish this.

These options and conclusions will be further detailed in an additional chapter of the staff paper, to be made available next week.

EPA is also releasing second drafts of the Human Exposure Analysis and the Health Risk Assessment and the first draft Technical Report on Ozone Exposure, Risk and Impacts Assessments for Vegetation (available within the next week). These documents include estimates for meeting the current and potential alternative standards as well as the impacts of ozone on agricultural crops, forests, and other plants.

The Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC), a Congressionally-mandated group of independent scientific and technical experts, will review the documents at a meeting in Research Triangle Park, N.C., on Aug. 24-25. This meeting is open to the public. EPA will carefully review and consider comments received during both the public comment period and the August CASAC meeting and anticipates release of a final Staff Paper, taking into account CASAC and public comments this fall.

Staff Paper:

Technical Support Documents -- Human Exposure Analysis and Health Risk Assessment: