According to EPA press secretary Brendan Gilfillan, EPA will not finalize the new ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) in time to meet its self imposed July 29th deadline. In 2008, the Bush administration set the primary and secondary ozone NAAQS at 0.075 parts per million (ppm), a standard that diverged from the recommendations of Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC), an independent committee of scientists that provides recommendations regarding protective standards to EPA. In response to claims by environmentalists that the 2008 ozone standard was not protective enough, EPA undertook a voluntary review of the standard, and in January 2010 proposed a new primary standard of 0.060–0.070 ppm and a new secondary standard of 7–15 ppm.
EPA's revised final ozone rule was submitted to the Office of Management & Budget for review on July 11, 2011, a process that could take up to 90 days. Industry groups are warning the Obama administration that a stricter standard will have wide-spread negative economic effects and could lead to higher rates of unemployment. Leaders of the Business Roundtable, among others, met with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Air Chief Gina McCarthy on July 15th to urge the agency to implement the 2008 standards and consider a new ozone standard in 2013 as required by law. Although EPA has acknowledged that a stricter standard could put many new areas into nonattainment of NAAQS for the first time, it appears to be committed to setting a more restrictive standard. Just days before the July 15th meeting, Senator Tom Carper (DE-D) wrote a letter to Ms. Jackson inquiring about the timing of the reconsideration of the 2008 standard. Ms. Jackson responded that she "decided that reconsideration was the appropriate path based on concerns that the 2008 standards were not legally defensible given the scientific evidence in the record for the rulemaking, the requirements of the Clean Air Act and the recommendation of the CASAC." According to Ms. Jackson, "[t]his reconsideration will be based on the scientific record that was the basis for the 2008 standard."