EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed a decision back in August to push back an Oct. 1 deadline for states to begin meeting the new standards, set in 2015 to better control ground-level ozone pollution. Now, on Monday, a federal court ruled that the Trump Administration broke the law when it missed it deadline to implement the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone pollution rule.
According to The Hill:
‘EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was supposed to announce by Oct. 1 which areas of the country were in compliance with the 2015 Obama administration rule.’
Pruitt omitted findings for areas are not in compliance and only announced findings for areas that comply. The Hill reported:
‘Judge Haywood Stirling Gilliam Jr. of the federal District Court for the District of Northern California said Monday that Pruitt broke the law, and ordered him to publish the findings for almost all of the rest of the country by April 30.’
Judge Gilliam wrote:
‘There is no dispute as to liability: Defendants admit that the administrator violated his nondiscretionary duty under the Clean Air Act to promulgate by October 1, 2017 initial area air quality designations.’
From day one, the Trump administration has attempted to undo everything implemented by the Obama administration and this marks another of several court losses for them. Perhaps, one of the their largest fails was that they were unable to pass the GOP bill to repeal Obamacare.
As far as other recent environmental decisions, according to The Hill:
‘Other recent decisions have faulted the Energy Department for blocking energy efficiency rules and both the EPA and Interior Department for delaying methane regulations.’
In 2015, a rule was enacted that set the limit for ground-level ozone at 70 parts per billion. The previous level was set at 75 parts per billion. In the EPA’s own words:
‘Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive gas composed of three oxygen atoms. It is both a natural and a man-made product that occurs in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (the stratosphere) and lower atmosphere (the troposphere). Depending on where it is in the atmosphere, ozone affects life on Earth in either good or bad ways.’
States who are not in compliance with the ozone regulations must write up plans to reduce pollution. The Hill reported:
‘Environmental groups who sued the Trump administration over the ozone delay wanted a quicker deadline, while the EPA pushed for April 30, saying it could meet that timeline.
‘The EPA is under a different timeline for the area surrounding San Antonio because the Texas state government is submitting new information. That area’s deadline is October.’
Pruitt has become a dangerous figure in the Trump administration. According to The Washington Post:
‘Along the way, Pruitt has begun to dismantle former president Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, halting the agency’s efforts to combat climate change and to shift the nation away from its reliance on fossil fuels.
‘Such aggressiveness on issues from coal waste to vehicle emissions has made Pruitt one of Trump’s most high-profile and consequential Cabinet members. It also has made him one of the most controversial.’
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