In a move that should mean cleaner air for Washington, D.C., a federal appeals court yesterday rejected the U.S. EPA’s decision to accept a D.C.-area proposal to delay enforcement of Clean Air Act-mandated pollution levels for several years past the act’s 1999 deadline. The area was classified as being in “severe” violation of federal ozone standards in January 2003, and it had nine “Code Red” ozone violation days in summer 2002. The ruling was a victory for the Sierra Club, which filed the suit challenging the EPA’s provisional acceptance of the proposal in 2002. A three-judge appeals court panel chastised the EPA for accepting “plans that did nothing more than promise to do tomorrow what the act requires today,” and pointed out that the Clean Air Act is unambiguous in its requirements and gives the EPA no authority to more or less ignore them.