Gino DiCaro

Tighter Ozone Standards Close to Adoption

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, April 8, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On March 11th the Air Resources Board (ARB) proposed a new 8-hour Ozone Standard. This new standard is so restrictive that none of the state's regional air pollution control districts would be in compliance.  Regional air pollution control districts would be required to adopt tighter regulations and compliance requirements until the new standard is met.  

ARB has based this proposed standard on both human exposure and epidemiological studies. There are, however, very significant technical problems with ARB's association of premature mortality with ozone exposure.

Using the epidemiology studies, ARB estimates health benefits from adopting the new 8-hour ozone standard.  ARB calculates that the new standard will result in an estimated health benefit of 540 premature deaths avoided (statewide).   The numbers are misleading.  CMTA has discovered that this calculation is based on the benefit over current air quality, not just the incremental benefit created by the new, more restrictive 8-hour standard compared to the existing federal 8-hour standard and the current state 1-hour standard.  

At the urging of CMTA and others prior to the March 11th report, ARB staff conducted modeling runs to estimate the benefits that would occur if the current Federal 8-hour ozone standard was lowered to their proposed State 8-hour standard.  ARB acknowledges the actual incremental mortality benefit over current regulation (Federal 8-hour + State 1-hour) at 23.  CMTA believes this figure is within the study's margin of error and does not justify a new standard.

ARB asserts that defining a new standard for ozone does not directly impose new requirements on business and therefore there is no economic or fiscal impact. They have not yet identified a single control measure that would be required to meet it.  However, when a future control measure is imposed to meet the new standard, an economic assessment would be required.  Nevertheless, they have already calculated the benefits of meeting the proposed standard as justification for the new standard. CMTA believes both costs and benefits of the proposed standard should be thoroughly studied prior to its adoption.

ARB has scheduled two public workshops to solicit comments:

April 11, 2005, 1-3 pm
Cal/EPA Headquarters Building
1001 I Street
Coastal Hearing Room (2nd Floor)
Sacramento, CA

April 12, 2005, 1-3 pm
California Air Resources Board
El Monte Facility Auditorium
9528 Telstar Avenue
El Monte, CA

The draft ozone standards are scheduled to be voted on by ARB at their April 28th meeting in El Monte.   

CMTA will testify at the April 11th workshop in Sacramento. We also urge members to attend either of the two meetings and just say a few words (we can assist you with testimony).  Contact Mike Rogge

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