In a blow to the environmental community and the federal government's own Environmental Protection Agency alike, President Obama announced on Friday that he would not implement tougher restrictions on air pollutants, particularly smog-causing ozone. In a statement released Friday morning, Obama said that continuing economic uncertainty made any tightening of air-quality standards too risky. "I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover," he wrote. The standards will instead remain unchanged from regulations implemented under George W. Bush in 2008. Earlier this summer, EPA head Lisa Jackson told reporters that those standards were "not legally defensible." The standards will again come under review in 2013.
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