Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The EPA Rule on Ozone Levels and the Intermountain West

The EPA Rule on Ozone Levels Recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) published an administrative rule that requires states to lower atmospheric ozone levels to 60-70 parts per billion. For states in the Intermountain West, where the level of naturally occurring ozone (or “background concentrations”) routinely reaches 60 – 75 ppb, it’s going to be tough to comply. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-led research, it’s not a problem limited to inversion prone valleys like Salt Lake and Cache. “We expected we were going to see intrusions big enough, individual events, which would…

The EPA vs. the Fourth of July

Yesterday, ten senators, including Utah senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, signed a letter sent to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to renounce the EPA’s proposed rule to expand the agency’s jurisdiction over water.  The letter cites several cases where environmental lawsuits threatened to end Fourth of July fireworks displays in San Diego, Lake Tahoe, and Lake Murray.  If the EPA’s power is expanded as anticipated under their proposed rule, then their expanded scope of jurisdiction could threaten an even broader range of fireworks displays.