Over on E&E News (paid subscription only), Darren Samuelsohn reports that a federal judge has applied his boot to the derriere of the U.S. EPA:

A federal judge lashed out at U.S. EPA yesterday for pursuing industry-friendly regulations at the same time it missed statutory deadlines to control toxic air pollution from small industrial plants.

Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia criticized EPA for focusing on other priorities as opposed to issuing regulations that address about a third of toxic air pollution.

"EPA has been grossly delinquent in making serious efforts to comply" with the Clean Air Act, Friedman said in his 28-page opinion (PDF).

And he put some oomph behind it:

Friedman’s opinion includes an order placing EPA on schedule to complete 50 toxic emission regulations. The first four industrial categories must be regulated by mid-December, with staggered deadlines for the remaining industries spread out until June 2009.

Good stuff. You’ll probably hear more about it in tomorrow’s Daily Grist.