A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. today upheld Obama-era smog and air quality standards. Conservative states and industry leaders had tried to scrap them, saying that the rules were too burdensome.
California joined states like New York and public health organizations including the American Lung Association in defending the standards that regulate ground-level ozone, an irritating gas that smells like chlorine.
Paul Billings, senior vice president of advocacy with the American Lung Association, called the court decision a win for public health.
“The court upheld the health-based standards,” he said. “It firmly rejected the challenges by industry and some states that attempted to bring in external considerations like economics and background ozone levels. The court shot those claims down.”
In a statement emailed to reporters, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the court’s ruling prevented an attempt by corporate interests to put profits over air quality. He said the standards save upwards of 100 lives and prevent 380 asthma-related emergency room visits each year in the state.