The more stringent ozone rule proposed by EPA would, if implemented, significantly alter the day-to-day lives of people and businesses across the US. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in Fresno, where residents may have to stop using their gasoline-powered cars altogether.
The remarkable statement was made in a recent Fresno Bee article, which stated that the San Joaquin Valley’s repeated violations of ozone standards means that if tighter ozone regulations are introduced, most of Fresno’s fossil fuel-burning vehicles – cars, trucks, buses – would have to be eliminated within two decades. For Fresno, this proposed rule doesn’t simply hit stationary services. It is all about cars getting restricted.
This case is also a perfect example of what happens when a city cannot reach its earlier goals. The city has never been able to meet the earlier standards, and now these standards are being tightened ever further. They cannot meet the 1997 standard of 84ppm, let alone the 2008 tightening to 75ppm.
The case of Fresno shows that the proposed new levels – possibly 70ppm, maybe even as low as 65ppm – are not attainable. Instead, they are clearly aspirational.