WASHINGTON (February 10, 2009) -- The Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator Lisa Jackson announced today that it is stopping a last-minute move by the Bush administration that would have allowed industrial facilities to increase smog and soot emissions. The Natural Resources Defense Council petitioned the EPA to block this action under the "new source review" policy of the Clean Air Act. By granting the reconsideration and administrative stay, the EPA will now have 90 days to review the policy and determine whether or not to remove the loophole -- which would prevent industries from causing further pollution.
Following is a statement by John Walke, director of the Clean Air Program for Natural Resources Defense Council:
"With this action, Administrator Jackson is demonstrating swift and strong leadership by blocking industries from creating more soot and smog. The Bush administration gave this parting gift to polluters, despite protests by EPA's professional staff and bi-partisan state officials. The loophole would have allowed industrial polluters, like oil refineries and chemical plants, to increase dangerous air pollution and escape clean-up responsibilities. Following this welcome change of direction by the EPA, NRDC is confident that the Obama administration will drop this harmful rule change completely, giving Americans a breath of fresh air."