The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is delaying until late July tougher clean-air rules that are opposed by businesses led by the National Association of Manufacturers.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson plans to seek additional information from a group of advisers to ensure the decision is “grounded in the best science,” said Brendan Gilfillan, an agency spokesman, in an e-mail.
EPA proposed in January restrictions on ground-level ozone, a key ingredient of smog, that exceeded limits adopted by the Bush administration in 2008. The EPA said the rule would help prevent 12,000 premature deaths, 58,000 cases of aggravated asthma and save as much as $100 billion in health costs. The Washington-based National Association of Manufacturers has said the rule, which was to become final this month, was too strict.
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision leaves thousands of Delawareans and millions of Americans unprotected from harmful ozone air pollution under an outdated, ineffective ozone standard,” said Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, in a statement expressing disappointment by the delay.
Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs for the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, said the group welcomed the postponement. He urged the agency to delay other “costly and unworkable proposals,” such as an upcoming rule to limit greenhouse-gas emissions.
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