I was quoted today in Environmental Law 360 in an article entitled Industry Has Edge Over Enviros To Fight EPA Ozone Rule. The new standard was set at 70 parts per billion (ppb) down from the prior 75 ppm standard set a few years ago. That standard was challenged in court, but was upheld by the relevant courts. The new standard has been attacked by industry as being too low and environmental groups as being too high. Expect legal challenges from both sides. The trouble for both sides is that the courts tend to defer to EPA and other governmental agencies in making scientific analysis and reaching science-based decisions.
One challenge, particularly for places like the Tyler-Longview-Marshall, Texas area is that the background level of ozone is at or near at the 70 ppm standard. The natural and human emissions from other areas that blow in make it difficult to meet the new standard. One question is how does an area like this challenge the standard and/or the designation as a non-attainment area for ozone and all the heightened regulatory and permitting restrictions that could hurt local industry and the local economy.