Texas sues over EPA ozone rule 

Hole in the Ozone Layer Over Antarctica. (Credit: NASA on the Commons)

Texas has filed its 23rd lawsuit against the federal government since 2009 arguing that new ground ozone levels are unrealistic and inappropriate.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a lawsuit again the Environmental Protection Agency’s new ozone standards rule that reduces the previous 75 parts per billion limits on ozone to 70 parts per billion.  In particular, the new law targets factories, power plants and vehicle tailpipes.

“The changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard would impose a serious financial burden on the Texas economy for dubious public health benefit,” said Paxton in a press release.  “The EPA’s new ozone rule is not supported by scientific data.”

He said the new regulations will harm the Texas economy and kill jobs. As in the other lawsuits, Paxton said the government was overreaching and the state needed to defend itself from the regulations.

“It’s impossible to comply with in some areas of the country due to background ozone levels that are outside of regulatory control, he said. The press release further charges that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and from the EPA itself, show that the rule could have minimal, if any, health benefits.

The state maintains that it has reduced nitrogen oxide and ozone levels for the last 15 years and can continue to do so without federal mandates.

 

The Texas Attorney General’s Office challenged the rule on Dec. 23rd on behalf of the state and TCEQ. In addition to Texas, the following states have filed separate lawsuits against the new rule: Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.

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