Statement Of A.G. Schneiderman Hailing U.S. EPA’s Proposal To Strengthen Air Pollution Standards For Harmful Ozone

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued the following statement applauding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal of new, more health-protective national air standards for ozone pollution: 

“The EPA’s proposal today of protective, science-based standards for ozone smog is truly a breath of fresh air. These standards will literally save lives and will also help ensure that New York’s efforts to combat ozone pollution are not undercut by pollution generated by upwind states. I applaud the EPA for taking this critical action to protect public health, and look forward to working to ensure these standards are put in place as soon as possible.”

Yesterday, Attorney General Schneiderman lead a coalition of states, including Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Rhode Island, in a letter urging the federal Office of Management and Budget to support EPA’s proposal of strengthened national ambient air quality standards for ozone.  The letter cited EPA’s independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee’s support of a national primary standard in the range of 60 to 70 parts per billion to better protect public health and a stronger secondary standard to adequately protect forests and crops.  

Elevated ozone smog levels can cause a range of harmful health impacts, including chronic respiratory illness, decreased lung function, cardiovascular disease, asthma and even premature death.  According the American Lung Association’s 2014 “State of the Air” report, more than 4 in 10 people in the United States (44.8%) live in areas with unhealthful levels of ozone.  The Association ranks the New York City metropolitan area as the 12th most ozone-polluted city in the nation.