In a statement released this morning, President Barack Obama urged Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to withdraw its proposed draft of Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), leaving in place Bush-era regulations.

Back in January 2010, the EPA proposed a strengthening the NAAQS for ground-level ozone, The proposed revisions were to be based on scientific evidence regarding ozone and its impact on U.S. resident and our environment. Then, in July 2011, Agency administrator Jackson announced she was committed to finalizing the EPA's ground-level ozone standards and noted the Agency would issues its proposed recommendations following completion of a couple final steps.

Then, today, President Obama released this statement:
Over the last two and half years, my administration, under the leadership of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, has taken some of the strongest actions since the enactment of the Clean Air Act four decades ago to protect our environment and the health of our families from air pollution. From reducing mercury and other toxic air pollution from outdated power plants to doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, the historic steps we've taken will save tens of thousands of lives each year, remove over a billion tons of pollution from our air, and produce hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits for the American people.

At the same time, I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover. With that in mind, and after careful consideration, I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time.
President Obama indicated that work is still underway to revise the ozone standard in 2013 and ultimately concluded that it's too complicated to require state and local government to implement a standard that will be revised in two year's time. You'll find full statements from both Obama and Jackson after the jump. She can't be too pleased with this decision, as she recently called the Bush-era regs "legally indefensible."
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The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

September 02, 2011

Statement by the President on the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards


Over the last two and half years, my administration, under the leadership of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, has taken some of the strongest actions since the enactment of the Clean Air Act four decades ago to protect our environment and the health of our families from air pollution. From reducing mercury and other toxic air pollution from outdated power plants to doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, the historic steps we've taken will save tens of thousands of lives each year, remove over a billion tons of pollution from our air, and produce hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits for the American people.

At the same time, I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover. With that in mind, and after careful consideration, I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time. Work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013. Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.

I want to be clear: my commitment and the commitment of my administration to protecting public health and the environment is unwavering. I will continue to stand with the hardworking men and women at the EPA as they strive every day to hold polluters accountable and protect our families from harmful pollution. And my administration will continue to vigorously oppose efforts to weaken EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act or dismantle the progress we have made.

Statement by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson on the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Release date: 09/02/2011

Since day one, under President Obama's leadership, EPA has worked to ensure health protections for the American people, and has made tremendous progress to ensure that Clean Air Act standards protect all Americans by reducing our exposures to harmful air pollution like mercury, arsenic and carbon dioxide. This Administration has put in place some of the most important standards and safeguards for clean air in U.S. history: the most significant reduction of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide air pollution across state borders; a long-overdue proposal to finally cut mercury pollution from power plants; and the first-ever carbon pollution standards for cars and trucks. We will revisit the ozone standard, in compliance with the Clean Air Act.

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