EPA Replacing Bush Smog Limit with Stricter Rule

WASHINGTON (AP) - Environmentalists are wasting no time in endorsing an Environmental Protection Agency proposal for stricter health standards for smog.

The oil and gas industry, however, say it lacks "scientific justification."

Under the plan, hundreds more counties nationwide will likely be in violation. The EPA says it will cost tens of billions dollars annually to reduce pollution to meet the limits.

The head of the advocacy group Clean Air Watch says it would mean "significantly cleaner air and better health protection."

The American Petroleum Institute says the standards could trigger "unnecessary energy cost increases" and job losses.

Localities will have three years to submit plans for meeting the new limits and up to 20 years to meet them.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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