In summary

California just joined 14 other states in challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its delay implementing regulations to reduce ozone pollution.

California yesterday joined 14 other states in challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s delay in implementing regulations that reduce ozone pollution.

Photo via angusreid.org

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra took on the agency for delaying the roll-out of Obama-era rules that reduced allowable concentrations of ozone, a primary component of smog.

The case, before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, focuses on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s order to extend the deadlines to comply with the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Pruitt announced in June he was extending the deadlines by at least a year while the agency reconsiders the requirements. Many business groups oppose the rules.

Becerra cited the EPA’s own analysis that found the reductions would save more than 100 lives, eliminate 380 asthma emergency department visits, and prevent 120,000 lost school days each year.

“Too many children in our state have developed asthma and other preventable respiratory conditions that result from air pollution,” Becerra said.  “I grew up in Sacramento knowing that I could drink clean water and breathe clean air. But in those days in Los Angeles, how many people my age can say the same thing? How many days began with smog alerts? How many kids grew up with asthma that could have been prevented? “

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Julie Cart joined CalMatters as a projects and environment reporter in 2016 after a long career at the Los Angeles Times, where she held many positions: sportswriter, national correspondent and environment...