Latino groups push Obama on ozone standards

(Los Angeles Times) On the heels of a scathing critique by former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt on Wednesday, President Obama faced pressure from a burgeoning environmental justice coalition demanding stronger action on ozone, a component of smog, in predominantly Latino communities.

Fourteen groups sent a letter to Obama expressing dismay at missed opportunities and delays in bringing permissible ozone levels down to between 60 and 70 parts per billion:

The EPA estimates that the strongest standard of 60 parts per billion would avoid as many as 12,000 deaths and 58,000 asthma attacks per year. Implementing a weaker standard would mean more lives lost and more asthma attacks –- costs that Latinos would disproportionately bear.

The Latino community has faced many challenges over the past few years. We’ve seen missed opportunities, delays and more. With lives at stake, we hope that we won’t see yet another burden if polluting industries succeed in blocking EPA’s efforts to protect us from smog.

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