The EPA lets Wisconsin slide on smog pollution

Credit: Joe Brusky/OLB

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is letting heavy-hitting polluters off the hook in southeastern Wisconsin by exempting large parts of the region from national smog standards. The move is a clear political gift to Governor Scott Walker, who has centered his reelection campaign around approving a proposal for a sprawling LED plant in Racine County, which has some of state’s dirtiest air. To be in compliance, industrial polluters in the area would need to either install new equipment, scale back production, or make emissions-trading deals with cleaner facilities. Pruitt also scaled back the standards for other regions of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Clearly, having the citizens of one state breathe unhealthy air wasn’t enough for a day’s work.

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