On Wednesday, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson reset the allowable amount of ozone in the air to 75 parts per billion, averaged over an eight-hour period, down from the current 84 ppb level that was set 11 years ago. The federal Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review the national air standards every five years to ensure they are aligned with the latest science.
It has always amazed me that the cleaner we make the air, more we need to clean the air. As technology advances and scientist improve their ability to detect more parts per billion, the government thinks there is a need to lower the bar. If we can detect more, we need to reduce more. Every time the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, a group of independent scientists meet they unanimously recommended more reductions in parts per billion. Not once have they recommended enough is enough, though the Administrator did not accept the full recommended reduction to 70 ppb this time. Think about it. If we have reached the cleanest of all clean air will we still need the EPA and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and the California Air Resources Board to protect us?