"U.S. EPA plans to enforce smog rules that were put in place under George W. Bush, now that President Obama has asked the agency to wait until 2013 to move on still-stricter air quality standards for ozone, Administrator Lisa Jackson told lawmakers on Capitol Hill [Thursday] morning.
Jackson had spent the past two years reconsidering the limit of 75 parts per billion, which was finalized in 2008, because it was higher than the range of 60 to 70 ppb recommended by the agency's science advisers.
Her recommendation was 70 ppb, she told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this morning, in her first public disclosure of EPA's final proposal to the White House.
But now that Obama has stopped the reconsideration, based on concerns that the rule could hold back the struggling economy, the entire country is legally required to ratchet down air pollution limits from the previous standard of 84 ppb, Jackson told members of the committee. Air quality officials will be given new instructions in the days ahead, she said."