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Under Pressure, Pruitt and Trump Buckle, Withdraw Attacks on Safeguards Against Smog Pollution

Implementation of the 2015 smog pollution standard is a victory for science and public health

WASHINGTON - Late yesterday, Donald Trump’s EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, dropped his unlawful one-year delay of the implementation of 2015 smog pollution standard after numerous environmental groups (including Sierra Club), public health organizations, and attorneys general from across the United States sued to block the effort.

EPA had been due to file its first defense of Pruitt's delay in court on Thursday.

In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, released the following statement:

“This week has been a reality check for Scott Pruitt and Donald Trump, as they’re learning that when they ignore the law, they are going to lose and lose badly. Pruitt and Trump are facing a wall of resistance to their pro-polluter agenda from the vast majority of the American public, as well as leaders like the attorneys general who acted to protect their citizens against smog pollution. After their effort to gut protections for methane pollution was swatted down, Pruitt and Trump had no choice but to back down on rolling back protections against smog pollution. This is strike two for Pruitt and Trump’s dangerous agenda that threatens the health of our families.

“Their attempt to delay these clean air protections was legally and morally wrong, and the wide array of health and community voices that challenged their decision made that clear. These safeguards are essential because smog pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause irreversible lung damage, or even death. However, with an administration that prizes corporate polluters and its own extreme agenda more than the health of the public, we can’t let up on our fight to protect our families. The Sierra Club was one of the many groups that challenged this illegal action in court, and we stand ready for the next time Trump and Pruitt attempt to give away our clean air and water protections to polluters. We will not sit by and let them ignore their obligations under law to protect public health and the environment.”   


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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