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EPA Rules on Ozone Pollution Survive Industry Appeal to Supreme Court

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Image: Coal-fired power plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania
Coal smoke and steam vapor pour out of the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant overlooking the Ohio River at dawn on September 11, 2008 in Shippingport, Pennsylvania.Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an industry challenge to ozone pollution regulations issued by Republican former President George W. Bush's administration. The court declined to hear the case, leaving in place primary air quality standards set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect public health, which Democratic President Barack Obama's administration defended. They were challenged by the Utility Air Regulatory Group, which represents electricity-generating companies.

In July 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the primary standards but sent secondary standards that are required to protect vegetation, crops and animals back to the EPA for revision. Ozone pollution forms when air pollutants react with sunlight and has been linked to health problems including decreased lung function.

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— Reuters

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