WHAT WE’RE WORKING ON
Moms has been working to ensure the strongest possible standards for air pollution since its inception. Our current work on minimizing pollution from cars, trucks, and power plants also results in smog reduction. In addition, EPA regulates smog, or ground-level ozone, directly under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or NAAQS (rhymes with “snacks”). These standards are supposed to be updated every five years. Moms was there in 2015 and again in 2020, asking EPA for the most stringent standards.
In August 2023, EPA announced that they would initiate a new review of ozone, instead of using their authority to adopt a more health-protective standard now. Undertaking a new scientific review of ozone is a lengthy process that will postpone the adoption of new standards until the end of 2025. This delay will put the health of millions at risk for years to come. Join Moms in telling EPA we can’t wait for strong ozone standards.
WHY WE CARE
Smog is harmful to breathe. It can appear as a yellow haze in the sky above polluted areas. Smog is formed in the atmosphere when certain chemicals combine with heat and sunlight. Power plants, fracking, cars and trucks, and diesel engines can all be sources of smog-forming chemicals. Smog can travel hundreds of miles from the pollution source, and it can be made worse by weather and geography.
Smog is highly irritating to the lungs. It triggers asthma attacks and increases the risk of lung infections. Smog can interfere with normal lung development. Smog causes coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Breathing elevated levels of smog is like getting sunburn on the lungs.
Smog is harmful to breathe.
It is highly irritating to the lungs.
While smog is a threat to everyone, the impacts are not felt equally. Communities of color and low-income communities face the greatest risk because they are hit first and worst. This inequitable system is not a coincidence. Systemic racism has created practices that force minority families to live in places that are more susceptible to smog and sources of smog. Black communities with greater exposure to air pollution have higher than average childhood asthma rates. Smog is especially harmful for these children.
In addition to pushing EPA to set strong national ozone standards, we worked in 2022 and 2023 on EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule, also known as the Good Neighbor Plan, which aims to reduce harmful air pollution from power plants and other industrial facilities that drifts across state borders and harms residents of downwind states. This important rule, which will help clean up smog, or ground-level ozone, by requiring that major polluters install and use pollution control devices, was finalized in March 2023.
Join us in your state to work to keep the air cleaner and fight climate change. Moms in Colorado are particularly active on state smog policy.