Protestors called for cleaner air at a rally outside CAL-EPA’s headquarters. Inside, the US-EPA held a day-long hearing on strengthening the limits on ozone pollution from the current 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 parts per billion.
“I spend more time inside than I do outside," says Jimmy Slover, a Sacramento resident with emphysema. "Not fair. Not Fair to me or the millions who are suffering like me," says Slover. He told EPA officials that strengthening the standard is a matter of public health.
But Ted Striechen with the American Petroleum Institute says toughening the ozone limit would harm the economy because too many parts of the country can’t meet the current standard.
“Decreasing the ozone standards could put almost the entire country out of compliance,”says Striechen.
The California Air Resources Board says the state has 16 regions that are not meeting the current standard. More rural, mountainous and less populated areas of California would likely exceed federal limits if the new standard is approved. States that fail to provide a clean air plan risk losing federal transportation dollars.
It could take six to ten years before final implementation.