States Tighten Air Rules in the Wake of Federal Loosening

A number of states and cities are thumbing their noses at the Bush administration’s moves to weaken air-pollution rules by imposing their own stricter regulations. Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other states, as well as a few cities, announced yesterday that they are making or seriously considering plans to retain requirements that old industrial plants install state-of-the-art emissions-control technology before increasing production, though the federal government axed such requirements on a national level in August. Outgoing California Gov. Gray Davis (D) has already signed a bill that will keep stricter standards in place in his state. “We don’t like your rule, EPA. We’re doing our own,” said Bill Becker, executive director of the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators and the Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials, two groups pushing this effort.