Thursday, August 3, 2017

The EPA reverses its course on Obama-era ozone rule

Photo
A layer of smog over the Salt Lake City area. The Trump administration said Wednesday
that it would not delay a regulation on smog-forming pollutants.
Francisco Kjolseth/Salt Lake Tribune
Lisa Friedman reports for The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said late Wednesday that it would not delay an Obama-era regulation on smog-forming pollutants from smokestacks and tailpipes, a move that environmental groups hailed as a victory.

The Environmental Protection Agency decision came a day after 16 state attorneys general, all Democrats, filed a lawsuit challenging the delay with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. It reversed a decision that Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, made in June to put off an Oct. 1 deadline for designating which areas of the country met new ozone standards.

In announcing the ozone policy change, the agency appeared to leave the door open to extending the deadline again. But, officials said, the agency will work with states to help them deliver the needed information.

Under previous administrations, E.P.A. would often fail to meet designation deadlines, and then wait to be sued by activist groups and others, agreeing in a settlement to set schedules for designation,” Mr. Pruitt said in a statement.

“We do not believe in regulation through litigation, and we take deadlines seriously. We also take the statute and the authority it gives us seriously.”

Ozone, a smog-causing gas that is formed when chemical emissions from power plants, factories and cars are exposed to heat and sunlight, has been linked to childhood asthma, lower infant birth weights and lung disease.

Read the full story here

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