Los Angeles Times -- California's air quality waiver appears secure for now as Trump's EPA chief tells Congress it's not under review

June 15, 2017

California's unique authority to set tougher air quality standards than the federal government isn't being targeted right now, according to Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt. 

“Currently the waiver is not under review," Pruitt said Thursday.

The comment, made during a Capitol Hill hearing, could deescalate what appeared to be a brewing battle between California and President Trump's administration.

During Pruitt's confirmation hearing earlier this year, he raised the possibility of reviewing California's waivers under the Clean Air Act, a decades-old mechanism that has helped the state become a leader in fighting smog and climate change. 

California regulators are counting on using their waiver authority to pursue tougher standards on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, even as the Trump administration opens the door to rolling back federal rules. A dozen other states are also adopting California's regulations as their own.

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