One year after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tightened its Clean Air Act regulations governing ground-level ozone (smog), violations are widespread, reports the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), Washington, D.C. A study released July 30 by the Ralph Nader-sponsored organization documents that ozone levels exceeded the new federal standard 1,904 times between Apr. 5 and July 20 this year, the first half of ozone season. Actually, PIRGs points out, violations probably are even more frequent because the report is based on data from ozone monitors in only 27 states; other states have yet to install monitors.
The violations have occurred on 69% of days in the ozone season, the study notes. "This summer, people in the U.S. have been routinely breathing air that is dangerous to their health," comments PIRGs Staff Attorney Rebecca Stanfield.