Evergreen: National Smog Standard Delay Will Have Deadly Consequences

In response to EPA’s announcement that it will not be finalizing an updated national smog standard by 2024, Evergreen Action Power Sector Senior Policy Lead Charles Harper released the following statement:

“It is unacceptable for EPA to go back to the drawing board when it has already made significant progress toward a stronger smog standard. Kicking off a brand new multi-year process, rather than finalizing the reconsideration already underway, will mean subjecting millions of Americans to dangerous levels of air pollution for years. This decision flies in the face of the administration’s own independent scientific and environmental justice advisors. EPA is required by law to review the smog standard by 2025, but EPA’s dangerously delayed timeline announced today puts even that deadline in question.

“Today’s delay will lead to unnecessary deaths—at a time when our country is already facing a life-expectancy crisis. Ozone pollution kills an estimated 365,000 people every year around the world. And in America, Black people are more likely to live in counties with significant smog exposure. President Biden’s EPA has taken significant strides to deliver on the president’s environmental justice commitments, but today’s announcement is a disappointing step backward in the fight for a liveable future for all.”

Earlier this year, Evergreen Action released its EPA Power Sector Report Card. As of July, both the National Smog Standard and Regional Haze Rule were rated “Dangerously Delayed.” With today’s announcement, EPA has guaranteed that an updated National Smog Standard will not be completed in President Biden’s first term.