A federal judge ruled Monday that President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law by missing a deadline to implement an Obama-era ozone pollution rule, ordering EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to publish the findings about which areas of the country are in compliance with the 2015 rule by April 30.
“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,” wrote Judge Haywood Stirling Gilliam Jr. of the federal District Court for the District of Northern California.
The decision comes after a series of court losses the Trump administration has faced in its ongoing effort to change, delay or undo the Obama administration’s environmental agenda.
The Hill added:
The ozone case concerns a 2015 rule that set the limit for ground-level ozone at 70 parts per billion, from the previous 75 parts per billion.
Ozone is a byproduct of pollutants from burning fossil fuels and a component of smog. It is linked to respiratory ailments such as asthma attacks.
In areas that don’t meet the standard, states must write up plans to reduce pollution and come into compliance.
Environmental groups wanted a quicker deadline, while the EPA pushed for April 30, saying it could meet that timeline.