Obama air pollution rule put on hold for another year by U.S. EPA

By Timothy Cama, The Hill.

The EPA announced the delay in the ozone pollution rule enforcement late Tuesday, saying that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had notified state governors.

Under the new schedule, the EPA will make final decisions on which areas are out of compliance with the ozone rule by October 2018.

Determinations on so-called nonattainment areas were going to be proposed this month and finalized this October under the original plan.

The letters to governors did not specify if other deadlines in the rule — including when states must submit plans to reduce ozone levels in areas that need reductions — would also be delayed.

“States have made tremendous progress and significant investment cleaning up the air. We will continue to work with states to ensure they are on a path to compliance,” Pruitt said in a statement.

“We are 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,” he said.