Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Court to Industry: Clean Up Air. (Environmental Protection)

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Court to Industry: Clean Up Air. (Environmental Protection)

Article excerpt

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington has rejected all remaining challenges to EPA's 1997 protective ambient air standards for fine particles (soot) and ground-level ozone (smog). The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel was announced March 26.

Calling it "a significant victory in EPA's ongoing efforts to protect the health of millions of Americans from the dangers of air pollution," EPA Administrator Christie Whitman promised the agency would move forward with programs to implement the tougher standards and help states meet them.

The court rejected the claim that EPA acted arbitrarily in setting the national ambient air quality standards and found that EPA "engaged in reasoned decision-making" in establishing levels that protect public health and the environment.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review all of its air standards every five years to ensure they reflect the latest and best scientific evidence. In 1997, based on thousands of new health studies, EPA toughened the standards for smog and, for the first time, set a standard specifically for fine particles equal to or smaller than 2. …

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