Judge Orders EPA to Issue Ozone Area Designations

The agency had missed an October deadline but now has until April 30 to declare which areas do or do not meet the 2015 ozone standard.
March 14, 2018

WASHINGTON – This week, a federal judge informed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it should not have missed an October deadline to issue which areas met the 2015 ozone standard, Politico reports. The judge then ordered the agency to declare most designations by the end of April.

The agency indicated it would have nearly all areas completed by the new deadline. The agency has already said around 85% of the United States meets the standard, but hasn’t addressed how much of the 15% will receive a non-attainment designation and have to reduce pollution.

However, the EPA had already announced it would take until August 10 to review new data sent by Texas about the San Antonio area, but Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. of the U.S. District Court for Northern California moved up that deadline to July 17.

Gilliam said that the agency didn’t convince him why more time was needed in relation to San Antonio. “EPA’s reasoning effectively allows states to drive the agency's timeline for statutory compliance,” he said.