By TENNILLE TRACY
WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court has upheld new
air-quality standards that limit nitrogen dioxide near major
roads, dismissing a challenge from the oil and natural gas
industry that claimed a set of standards adopted in 2010 were
more stringent that necessary to protect public health.
Tuesday's ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia marks a win for the Obama administration
and environmental groups that supported
the two-year-old standards for nitrogen dioxide, or NO2.
The Environmental Protection Agency's
rule imposes a one-hour limit of 100 parts per billion.
The rule is intended to prevent short-term peaks of
smog-forming NO2 in the air, usually occurring near major roads
where there's a lot of car exhaust.
The agency said at the time that short-term exposures to NO2
- ranging from 30 minutes to 24 hours - resulted in more
respiratory illnesses and asthma symptoms.
The lawsuit had been brought by the American Petroleum
Institute, the major lobbying arm of the oil and natural gas
The API claimed the rule was illegal because it went beyond
what was needed to protect public health.
"By cherry-picking data and relying on questionable science,
EPA set the new regulations at a level more stringent than
necessary to protect public health and is putting our economy
and jobs unnecessarily at risk," API director Howard Feldman
said in a statement.
Dow Jones Newswires