EPA chief defends ozone rule

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said her agency is following scientific advice on a proposed rule to tighten smog-forming ozone pollutions that falls in between what industry and environmentalists had hoped.

The dispute is over something seemingly arcane to the general public, but the EPA said reducing the amount of ozone in the atmosphere would amount to health benefits of up to $38 billion in 2025.

The EPA proposed lowering the amount allowed to 65-70 parts per billion. Environmental groups want 60, while industry officials want to leave the standard at 75 parts per billion.

"My sense was after looking at all of the science, my judgment was that the upper part of the range was where I would recommend our focus at this time," McCarthy said during a media call, "because there was more uncertainty at that lower boundary."

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