US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a memorandum outlining a “Back-to-Basics” process for reviewing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act. This memo ensures that EPA and its independent science advisors follow a transparent, timely, and efficient process in reviewing and revising public health- and welfare-based NAAQS.
The reforms, advancing initiatives set out in President Trump’s April 12 Memorandum on Promoting Domestic Manufacturing and Job Creation – Policies and Procedures Relating to Implementation of Air Quality Standards, include incorporating important policy-relevant context, as required in the Clean Air Act, on issues like background pollution and potential adverse health, welfare, economic, energy, and social effects from strategies to attain and maintain the NAAQS. The memo commits EPA to begin the next review of the ozone NAAQS so it can finalize any revisions by the Clean Air Act deadline of October 2020. It also requires that the Agency complete its review of the particulate matter NAAQS by December 2020.
“The principles laid out in this memorandum will reform the process for setting national air quality standards in a manner consistent with cooperative federalism and the rule of law,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Getting EPA and its advisors back on track with Clean Air Act requirements, statutory deadlines, and the issuance of timely implementation rules will ensure that we continue the dramatic improvement in air quality across our country.”