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NO. R-102. JOINT RESOLUTION RELATING TO EPA’S PROPOSED REVISED AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARDS FOR OZONE AND FINE PARTICULATES.

( J.R.S. 18)

Offered by: Senator Ready of Addison County.

Whereas, the federal Clean Air Act requires the EPA to promulgate and revise national ambient air quality standards that provide for the level of air quality necessary to protect public health, and

Whereas, the EPA is required to undertake detailed independent scientific review of all of the available health and welfare information in setting and revising the national ambient air quality standards, and

Whereas, recent studies have linked exposure to ozone in the ambient air to increased hospital admissions for respiratory illness, increased susceptibility to respiratory infection and lung inflammation, and

Whereas, long-term exposure to ozone can cause irreversible changes in the lungs leading to chronic respiratory illnesses such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and/or premature aging of the lungs, and

Whereas, the current primary standard for ozone is not adequate to protect the public from adverse health effects, and

Whereas, recent studies suggest that significant health effects including premature mortality, increased hospital admissions and other respiratory illnesses result from exposure to fine particulates at concentrations below the current standards, and

Whereas, concentrations of fine particulates are also responsible for significant visibility impairment in areas of importance to Vermont’s tourism industry, and

Whereas, the current primary standard for particulate matter is not adequate to protect the public from the adverse health effects attributable to exposure to fine particulates, and

Whereas, children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to the adverse health effects resulting from exposure to ozone and fine particulates, and

Whereas, comprehensive economic analysis will be done in the implementation of the regulatory process, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That it is the sense of the General Assembly that the EPA should fulfill its duty under the Clean Air Act to review and revise national ambient air quality standards to levels that are necessary to protect public health, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly urges the EPA to revise the standards in accordance with recent scientific evidence connecting exposure to ozone and fine particulate to significant adverse health effects, particularly to children and the elderly, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly urges the EPA to expeditiously finalize the standards for ozone and fine particulate as proposed by the EPA on November 29, 1996, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State is directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the President, Vice President, Vermont’s Congressional delegation, and the Administrator of the EPA in Washington, D.C.