WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today called the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement that it would set the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone at 70 parts per billion (PPB) “a missed opportunity” to protect the lives of millions.
“While this announcement is clearly a step in the right direction, it is unfortunately a missed opportunity for the EPA to do more to protect the health of millions of Americans. More people’s lives would be saved with a 65 ppb standard. It will be years before the EPA revisits this rule, as they are required to do periodically under the Clean Air Act. Such a delay getting to a lower level will come at a cost to our public health and economy. Low-income households have an asthma rate of nearly double that of wealthy households, and black, non-Hispanic children have an asthma rate of nearly double that of white, non-Hispanic children. It’s time we as a nation do more to protect vulnerable populations from indisputably preventable deaths.”