Next Steps in Battle over Ozone Rule Being Planned By Lawyers
The scrapping by the Obama administration of a proposed new rule that would fortify ozone standards has alerted some lawyers involved in the litigations over existing regulations.
Litigation before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had been put on hold since President Obama took office in 2009 and the U.S. EPA was considering whether or not to revise the rules that have been first introduced the previous year, during the final stretch of the George Bush administration.
Environmentalists were dismayed at the White House last Friday when President Obama announced that his administration will not adopt the new regulations.
The White House has told the EPA to wait until another ongoing review is finished. This is to prevent having two reviews simultaneously hanging over the economy. Obama considered it as a step toward “reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover.”
That means that a new final rule will not come until 2013 at the earliest, unless the court orders the process to be sped up.
The now-discarded proposal would have established the national ambient air quality standard for ground-level ozone at between 60 and 70 parts per billion. The standard set during the pendency of the Bush administration was at 75 parts per billion.
The standard set during the Bush administration had seemed to fail in pleasing anyone. Industry groups have challenged it, saying that it was too strict, while the American Lung Association and other environmental groups say the standards did not go far enough.