U.S. extends deadline for states to meet ozone pollution standard

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday it was extending the deadline by one year for states to declare which areas do not meet the federal standard for ground-level ozone, a pollutant linked to several serious health conditions.

Areas designated as not being meeting the 70 parts per billion National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone, which was set in 2015, face consequences that include increased regulatory burdens, restrictions on infrastructure investment, and increased costs to businesses, EPA said in a statement.

“EPA is giving states more time to develop air quality plans and EPA is looking at providing greater flexibility to states as they develop their plans,” the statement said.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham