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House approves delay of Obama-era smog reductions

The House voted to pass a Republican-backed bill delaying implementation of Obama-era reductions in smog-causing air pollutants.

Lawmakers voted 229 to 199 to approve the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017. The measure delayed the implementation by eight more years of 2015 air pollution standards issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, under the prior administration.

The bill also made key technical changes that environmentalists said, will weaken the Clean Air Act, including switching the EPA’s mandated review of air quality standards from every five years to every 10.

The House voted largely along party lines to approve the bill and defeat a series of Democratic amendments.

Similar legislation is advancing in the Republican controlled Senate.

Ground-level ozone can cause breathing problems among sensitive people and thousands of premature deaths every year.

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