Pennsylvania Joins Ozone Lawsuit

Pennsylvania is one of thirteen states suing the US Environmental Protection Agency over its newest rule on ground level ozone, which contributes to smog. The Allegheny Front's Lisa Ann Pinkerton reports the agency bowed to political pressure and opted a lower standard than its scientists advised.

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OPEN: Pennsylvania is one of thirteen states suing the US Environmental Protection Agency over its newest rule on ground level ozone, which contributes to smog. The Allegheny Front's Lisa Ann Pinkerton reports the agency bowed to political pressure and opted a lower standard than its scientists advised.

The EPA's panel of scientists recommended limiting air quality ozone levels to 60 parts per billion to insure people with asthma and the elderly were protected. But instead, the EPA wrote rules with a less stringent limit. At the end of last month, EPA Chief, Stephen Johnson testified at a House Congressional hearing, that President Bush intervened just hours before the new rule was announced and pressured the EPA to set a lower standard.

RATHBUN: We have proof now that they are more than willing to put politics ahead of science and adopt weaker standards at the request of the white house.

That's Tom Rathbun at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. He says Pennsylvania and 13 states, including New York, California, and Massachusetts are suing the EPA for failing to follow its own scientific recommendations.

RATHBUN: Is it right that state's have to go to court to force the federal government to do its job? No, that's not right.

The law suit asks the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC to order EPA to adopt more stringent standards.

For the Allegheny Front, I'm Lisa Ann Pinkerton