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New smog rules proposed, both parties unhappy

SmogNYThe Obama administration is expected to propose restrictions on smog-causing ozone on Wednesday in a move that will address a major cause of respiratory illness for millions of Americans while also setting the stage for new clashes with the Republican-controlled Congress.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s long-awaited proposal will reportedly call for toughening restrictions on the pollutant, which forms when chemicals in factory smoke and automobile exhaust react to sunlight. Ground-level ozone has been linked to numerous premature deaths annually as well as to the “code red” respiratory warnings common to Washington and other urban areas during the summer months.

The agency, facing a court-ordered Dec. 1 deadline to revise its ozone restrictions, will recommend a new limit that is between 7 to 13 percent lower than current levels, according to two former government officials briefed on the details. While likely to draw sharp opposition from industry groups and many conservative lawmakers, the proposal is substantially less stringent than some health experts and environmental activists had urged.

Click here to read more from this November 25, 2014 Washington Post article by Joby Warrick.

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