"Environmentalists scored a major win today as a federal appeals court rejected industry challenges to Obama-era ozone standards and ordered EPA to take a closer look at one part of the requirements that green groups deemed too lenient.
The long-awaited decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit cast aside several industry and red-state arguments that the 2015 primary ozone standard — which said levels of the air pollutant must be limited to 70 parts per billion to protect public health — was impossible to achieve (Greenwire, Aug. 23).
'The court really put the kibosh on the polluters' arguments,' Earthjustice attorney Seth Johnson, who argued the case for environmental groups, told E&E News after the ruling.
'It ruled that their arguments about costs are foreclosed by existing case law and their arguments that EPA had to consider or could consider whether background levels of ozone affected attainability, there's no room for this under the statute,' he added. 'And that's a big deal.'"
Ellen M. Gilmer and Sean Reilly report for Greenwire August 23, 2019.