"EPA Delays Release of Final Ozone Standards"

"U.S. EPA won't meet its goal of releasing new nationwide standards for ground-level ozone this month, the agency told a federal court Friday.

Finishing the standards has taken longer than expected, EPA said in a filing with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The agency will now move forward 'on or around the end of October,' according to the filing.

The revelation confirms weeks of rumors about a delay in the release of the ozone rule, which is expected to be one of the Obama administration's most ambitious -- and costly -- efforts to address smog and other types of conventional air pollution. Though EPA is expected to set stricter limits when it finishes reconsidering the George W. Bush administration's 2008 ozone standards, the decision to wait on a final rule could signal some hesitation, experts say.

The current political climate would make it 'convenient' for EPA to release the standards after November's midterm election, said Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute."

Gabriel Nelson reports for Greenwire August 23, 2010.

Source: NYTimes, 08/24/2010