For a full transcript of this episode please click here.
In this episode our EELP Legal Fellow Laura Bloomer speaks with Gretchen Goldman, Research Director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, about the Trump administration’s changes to EPA’s process for reviewing the national ambient air quality standards, or NAAQS.
They discuss the importance of revising these standards to keep pace with current science, and the many ways in which Trump’s EPA is undermining the ongoing reviews of air quality standards for ozone and particulate matter.
In the podcast, Gretchen discusses the impact of these changes:
I think this stands to have a tremendous impact on people. EPA has for decades followed this robust science-based process to ensure that the public is protected from air pollution, and we’re seeing the administration dismantle that in every way they can think of, and I think that’s going to have consequences on people’s health. If standards get weakened, if the standards fail to be tightened, when the science say that they should be, the air’s certainly not going to get cleaner and it might get dirtier. And that’s especially true under climate change where we know that increased heat and other factors increase some kinds of pollution like ozone.
This podcast was recorded before the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee met from December third to sixth. You will hear Gretchen mention the December meeting in the interview. Consistent with Gretchen’s insight, the Committee did not reach a consensus at their December meeting regarding whether or not the existing NAAQS for ozone and particulate matter adequately protect human health.