Citing the “importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover,” President Obama has asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to withdraw the draft National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone (smog), proposed in January of 2010.  Characterized as a victory for business, Obama’s request means that current smog standards will not be revisited until 2013. 

The EPA normally reviews smog standards every five years.  While the current standards were established in March of 2008, Administrator Jackson proposed revising the same in January of 2010.  Revised standards were proposed in advance of the scheduled five year review because the level set by the Bush Administration in 2008 (75 parts per billion (ppb)) was significantly higher than the 60-70 ppb recommended by EPA’s scientific advisory committee during that same period. 

Given the current state of the economy, and in the face of significant lobbying by the business community, President Obama ultimately agreed that any changes to the current standards should be postponed until 2013. 

A link to the President’s statement on the postponement can be found here: