Pruitt to hear economic arguments in enforcing Clean Air Act

By the Associated Press

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt says the agency will seek input on the economic impact of enforcing the Clean Air Act.

The scandals swirling around Donald Trump's environmental chief keep growing, but the president simply reaffirms his satisfaction with Scott Pruitt. (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / MANILA BULLETIN)  Scott Pruitt. (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / MANILA BULLETIN)

Pruitt’s announcement could set the stage for major changes and legal battles over how the United States enforces its 48-year-old law combating air pollution.

Pruitt set out the changes in a memo released Thursday.

Federal law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions require the EPA to focus on public health — not costs — in setting limits for smog, soot and other pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Pruitt says EPA advisory committees will also consider how limits on pollutants would impact the economy and state and local governments.

Pruitt says in a tweet the changes are part of his drive to give state and local governments more say.