EPA To Enforce Tougher Clean Air Standards

Washington, D.C. -- A federal appeals court has given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C., the authority to issue more stringent air quality health standards after a five-year legal battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

The standards will require states and local authorities to impose tougher controls on smog-causing chemicals and microscopic soot.

The Supreme Court ruled a year ago that under the Clean Air Act, the EPA had no requirement to take into account costs when issuing health standards and had acted reasonably in trying to protect certain population groups against pollution. The U.S. Court of Appeals rejected claims that the EPA had acted arbitrarily in determining the level of the new standards.

1997’s standards were challenged by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), all based in Washington, D.C., as well as the states of Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia.