Reversing Course, EPA Chief Pruitt Drops Delay of Ozone Health Protections

WASHINGTON – After being sued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, other public interest groups and 16 states, Environmental Protection Administrator Scott Pruitt late Wednesday reversed his earlier decision to put off implementing Obama-era federal standards curbing emissions of smog-causing air pollutants. In June, Pruitt announced he would delay the October 1 implementation date by a year requiring states to begin meeting the 2015 standards for ground-level ozone.

John Walke, clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, made this comment in response:

“It's no wonder Scott Pruitt beat a hasty retreat from holding up these important health standards. He's been blatantly violating the law by obstructing legally required reductions in smog pollution. This is the sixth time the Trump administration has been forced, in the face of public interest lawsuits, to follow the law on mercury and methane pollution, protecting the Rusty Patch Bumble Bee and energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans and service lamps.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.