Scott Pruitt is going to enact an ozone rule he'd planned to push off. - Grist


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Scott Pruitt is going to enact an ozone rule he’d planned to push off.

Late Wednesday, the EPA administrator rescinded a previous decision to delay Obama-era regulations on ozone pollution. In June, the EPA said it would push off for a year enforcing the rule, as well as identifying what areas of the country exceeded permitted ozone levels. Just a day before the reversal, 15 states and D.C. sued the agency over Pruitt’s staying of the regulation.

The fossil fuel industry said the rule would cost $1 trillion. A group of states — and organizations like the American Lung Association — said its delay would jeopardize human health. When the agency delayed enforcement, it said its rationale was that it didn’t want to impede economic growth.

It’s not the first time Pruitt’s moves to roll back environmental regulations have faced a challenge. Last month, a federal appeals court challenged his delay of an Obama-era methane rule. And this week, an appeals court upheld that ruling.

But Pruitt’s reversal doesn’t completely clear the way for Obama’s ozone rule. In July, the House passed a Republican-sponsored bill to push the timeline for updating ozone regulations from five to 10 years — so there could be more Senate-related fun involving the health of Americans ahead.