Slim Victory for Whitman
The U.S. Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the Clinton administration’s clean air standards for ozone and particulate pollution, ending a five-year campaign by industry groups to have the standards overturned. To the chagrin of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Trucking Associations, and others, the court ruled that the U.S. EPA did not exceed its authority in setting the standards and that the standards were neither arbitrary nor unreasonable. The Bush administration said it would develop a proposal by this summer to implement the standards. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, seemingly alluding to occasions when the administration has been, shall we say, less supportive of tough environmental protections, said, “This was one we vigorously defended.” The EPA says the standards will prevent 15,000 premature deaths, 350,000 cases of asthma, and 1 million cases of decreased lung function in children.