States sue EPA over ozone rule delay

States sue EPA over ozone rule delay
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Sixteen attorneys general are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to delay implementation of an ozone pollution rule.

“By illegally blocking these vital clean air protections, Administrator [Scott] Pruitt is endangering the health and safety of millions,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D).

“But attorneys general have made clear: we won’t hesitate to fight back to protect our residents and our states.”

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EPA Administrator Pruitt announced in June that the agency would delay the start date for the agency’s 2015 ozone standards until October 2018.

The agency was previously scheduled to finalize its list of areas that fall short of the standards by this October. But Pruitt told state governors in a June letter that the agency is instead “committed to working with states and local officials to effectively implement the ozone standard in a manner that is supportive of air quality improvement efforts without interfering with local decisions or impeding economic growth.”

The EPA has said it is considering repealing the ozone pollution update released by the Obama administration in 2015. The rule lowers the allowable concentration of ozone, something public health groups say will help prevent issues like asthma, but a move industry groups say will cost jobs.

The House last month voted to delay the rule and limit future ozone regulations.