Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

David Lungren (202) 224-5642

Inhofe Responds to EPA’s Ozone Delay

News is Welcome, Yet Concern Remains about Restrictions on Jobs, Economic Growth

Washington, D.C. - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, issued the following statement on EPA’s announcement today that it will delay revising National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone until July, 2011.

“While I welcome news of the delay, I remain concerned about EPA’s direction in addressing the 2008 ozone NAAQS,” Sen. Inhofe said. “Employers, small businesses, and local communities still have good reason to suspect EPA will impose more burdensome new regulations that restrict investment, job creation, and economic growth.  States are making, and will continue to make, significant progress in achieving cleaner air.  So EPA must very carefully rely on the best available science to guide its decision-making in the coming months.  I will be conducting oversight to ensure that it does. 

“It’s also important to note that any more stringent standard within the range EPA is considering would have widespread negative consequences.  Based on 2008 air quality data, a standard of 65 ppb would create 608 new non-attainment areas, while a standard of 70 ppb would create 515 such areas.  Non-attainment is a scarlet letter that condemns local areas to more burdensome regulations and thus an even steeper climb out of recession.”