EPA chief scraps de­lay­ing smog rule

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON — One day af­ter be­ing sued by states, En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency chief Scott Pruitt back­tracked on de­lay­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­maera rules in­tended to re­duce emis­sions of smog-caus­ing air pol­lu­tants.

Pruitt con­tended his agency was be­ing more re­spon­sive than past ad­min­is­tra­tions to states’ needs. He made no men­tion Wed­nes­day of the le­gal chal­lenges to his ear­lier stand.

At is­sue is an Oct. 1 dead­line for states to be­gin meet­ing stan­dards for ground-level ozone. Pruitt an­nounced in June that he would hold off com­pli­ance by one year so the EPA had more time to study the plan and avoid “in­ter­fer­ing with lo­cal de­ci­sions or im­ped­ing eco­nomic growth.”

In ad­di­tion to the suit by a group of states led by New York, Pruitt was sued last month by a dozen pub­lic-health and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups, in­clud­ing the Amer­i­can Lung As­so­ci­a­tion, Physi­cians for So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity and the Sierra Club. The EPA was re­quired to file a re­sponse in that case by Thurs­day.

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