EPA chief scraps delaying smog rule
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.