In summary

A court ruled today that the Environmental Protection Agency must identify regions of the country that exceed federal smog levels, giving another win to California and other states that have sued to compel the regulator to enforce the Clean Air Act.

A court ruled today that the Environmental Protection Agency must identify regions of the country that exceed federal smog levels, giving another win to California and other states that sued to compel the regulator to enforce the Clean Air Act.

A federal court has ruled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must begin to identify regions where smog exceeds national standards.

The federal ruling came from a suit filed by 15 states after the federal EPA missed a deadline last year to designate “non-attainment” areas. The designation is critical because such a finding requires state and local authorities to take immediate action to improve air quality and comply with ozone standards.

“The stakes are high,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has brought multiple lawsuits against the Trump administration.  “The smog-reducing requirements at issue will save hundreds of lives and prevent 230,000 asthma attacks among children. That’s worth fighting for.”

The court ordered the EPA to comply by April 30, and the federal agency said it was moving forward on the work.

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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...