On Thursday, October 1 EPA announced a final rule setting a new standard for ground level ozone. The new limit of 70 parts per billion is significantly lower than the current level of 75 parts per billion but not as low as the draft rule EPA initially proposed in late 2014 of between 65 to 70 parts per billion. Ozone is a product of emissions from vehicles, industries, and power plants and can have a major impact on human health. Nationally, ozone levels have declined by a third since 1980, but EPA asserts the current level of 75 parts per billion is not strong enough to protect public health as required under the Clean Air Act. Most, if not all, areas of South Carolina are expected to be in compliance with the new standard.
We previously blogged about ozone standards in March of this past year, when we examined the economic impacts of potential new standards.
Read more about the new rule on EPA’s website.