20060504 ozone getty732523
NASA scientists located the largest ozone hole ever recorded, 11.5 million square-miles, in a report released October 3, 2000. - 


Bob Moon: Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, comes tomorrow, marking, of course, the official start of more heat, more travelers . . . and more smog. But that may change. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency signs off on a long overdue review of air quality standards. Here's Rachel Dornhelm:

Rachel Dornhelm: National law requires ozone — or smog — standards be reviewed every five years. So when the Environmental Protection Agency skipped its 2002 review, the American Lung Association sued.

The group's Janice Nolen says EPA advisors have recommended the agency tighten its standards to improve public health problems like asthma.

Janice Nolen: Kids are going to the emergency room, their lungs are being harmed. Senior citizens are having trouble wheezing, people who exercise are coughing or wheezing.

Getting ozone numbers down could mean restricting everything from power plant emissions to the hours of drive-thru windows.

The National Association of Manufacturers' Bryan Brendle says his group opposes tougher standards until businesses implement the last round of changes approved 10 years ago.

Bryan Brendle: We contest any idea that it's already necessary to move the goal post during the middle of the game.

Any new revisions won't be official until March. It would be five years before they take effect.

I'm Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.