For Immediate Release - August 03, 2017

AG Healey Welcomes EPA's Reversal of Unlawful Delay of Action to Address Harmful Ozone Pollution

Decision Just One Day after Lawsuit from 16 Attorneys General

BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey today released the following statement in response to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to reverse the agency’s illegal delay of actions to address harmful ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog.

“Scott Pruitt is starting to recognize that his crusade to unravel our environmental laws isn’t just dangerous, it’s illegal. Massachusetts will not back down in our fight to protect the health of our communities and our residents. We will stand with other attorneys general to demand that the Trump Administration follow the Clean Air Act and allow these vital protections to take effect.”

The EPA’s abrupt reversal of its delay of ozone designations comes just one day after AG Healey joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general filing a lawsuit in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuit challenged Administrator Pruitt’s decision to delay, by one year, the Clean Air Act’s requirement that EPA promulgate area designations for the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or NAAQS, by October 2017. Under the Clean Air Act, the area designations trigger statutory obligations and timetables for states to implement measures to reduce ozone pollution that endangers public health and welfare.

Without the delay, EPA is now required to issue designations by Oct. 1, 2017.