Glynis Board Published

Manchin Responds to Proposed Tightened Air Pollution Standards


  The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s public comment period on proposed stricter ozone standards closes this week. Many health and medical professionals across the country are urging the EPA to adopt the standard. Meanwhile, West Virginia’s senator Joe Manchin introduced legislation that would block the measure.

A panel of science advisors to the EPA unanimously concluded that the agency should tighten ozone regulations. The American Lung Association says in a release that additional regulations would protect those most vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, including children, seniors and people with asthma and other chronic lung diseases.

But Senator Manchin says it’s too costly to the economy. He joined with the Republican senator from South Dakota, John Thune, in introducing the Clean Air, Strong Economies Act which would slow regulatory measures down.

In 2008 the permitted level of ground-level ozone, or smog, was lowered from 85 parts per billion to 75. The EPA is now proposing lowering that standard to within the range of 70-65 parts per billion. In a release, Manchin reports that industry estimates a 65 ppb standard would shut down approximately a third of all coal-fired power plant capacity.