Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its new ozone standards rule. The EPA has lowered the ozone standard placed on states to a level that is inappropriate and unrealistic and is based on flawed science. The changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) would impose a serious financial burden on the Texas economy for dubious public health benefit.
“The EPA’s new ozone rule is not supported by scientific data,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Areas of the country that fail to comply with these impossible standards will be subject to costly new regulations that will harm our economy and kill jobs. Texas has proven that we can reduce ambient ozone concentrations without stifling growth, and my office will continue to defend our state from the EPA’s harmful and overreaching regulations.”
The new ozone rule lowers the level of the NAAQS from 75 to 70 parts per billion, which could be impossible to comply with in some areas of the country due to background ozone levels that are outside of regulatory control. In addition, analysis from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and from the EPA itself, show that the rule could have minimal, if any, health benefits.
Texas has demonstrated that it can clean its air without destroying the energy sector. Even as the state’s economy and population has grown steadily for decades, nitrogen oxide and ozone levels are down over the past 15 years and Texans are breathing cleaner air.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office challenged the rule on Dec. 23rd on behalf of the state and TCEQ. In addition to Texas, the following states have filed separate lawsuits against the new rule: Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.
To view the petition for review, please visit: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/2015.12.22_PFR_(signed).pdf