PA DEP Secretary Responds to White House Decision on Ozone Standard

Sep 09, 2011, 15:38 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent decision by the White House to withdraw certain air quality standards will have no adverse impact on Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer said today.

On Sept. 2, the president asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, explaining that he did not want to burden state and local governments with implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.

"As a member state of the Ozone Transport Commission, I agree that issuing the interim Ozone standard now would have been problematic," Secretary Krancer said. "This mid-term change to the 2008 standard is not required by law at this time, as EPA is already required to revisit the 2008 standard in 2013.

"The standard would have created needless regulatory uncertainty in the business world and was not supported by the best science. If EPA is so far out of scientific step in this rule that the president had to step in, it raises questions about other EPA rules, proposed rules and positions.

"Pennsylvania DEP's Air Quality program is vigorous and effective, and not issuing now what would have been a scientifically infirm rule will have no adverse impact on the commonwealth's air quality or public health."

Krancer said the White House's action also vindicates Pennsylvania's decision to withdraw from litigation on this matter and other similar issues. Some of the other lawsuits involved Greenhouse Gas cases, which Krancer said is an issue better left to Congress to decide. Because Congress specifically declined to enact such legislation on the matter, there is a question whether EPA was attempting to over-rule Congress.  

"The rest of the world, including its most populous and developing areas, would not be included in the restrictions we would impose upon ourselves. Imposing restrictions only in the U.S. could be nullified by expansions of emissions in non-participating parts of the world," Krancer said. "In light of current economic conditions, there is a serious question of whether it is fair to ask Americans to be the only people taking on the burdens and responsibilities of implementation."

For more information about DEP's Air Quality program, visit

Media contact: Katy Gresh, 412-298-7538 (cell)

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection