Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Lost in the ozone


  • Randy Showstack


While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appeals a May 1999 court order blocking its authority to implement a stringent, 8-hour standard for ground-level ozone, the agency in October proposed reinstating its 1-hour smog standard.

The 1-hour standard is a “safety net” to guarantee protection of public health during what could be a 2-year appeals process, according to EPA.The standard would affect nearly 3000 U.S. counties. EPA had revoked the 1-hour standard in 1998 in areas that had clean air for 3 consecutive years, in order to smooth a transition for the more stringent 8-hour standard.