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President Trump directs EPA to ease air quality rules he says suffocates industry:President Trump’s latest effort to boost the nation’s manufacturing sector is an industry-friendly rewrite of air quality regulations he says pose “unnecessary and outdated barriers to growth.”

But environmental advocates warn it would be another damaging step by an administration obsessed with deregulation at the expense of hard-fought public health protections.

The proposed loosening of air quality standards came in the form of a directive Trump issued Thursday instructing the EPA to work with states that have metro areas which failed to attain clean air standards. The president’s primary aim, the directive states, is “promoting domestic manufacturing and job creation.”

Dozens of communities across the country fail to meet Clean Air Act standards for at least one of six key pollutants — ground-level ozone (smog), particulate matter (soot or smoke), carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide — according to the EPA.

Building or expanding major projects, such as highways and manufacturing plants, in these “non-attainment” areas requires extra time and cost to make sure the increased industrial activity won’t worsen air quality. And states with non-attainment areas have to file plans with the EPA to show how they’re confronting the problem, a review process that can take years.

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President Trump directs EPA to ease air quality rules he says suffocates industry:President Trump’s latest effort to boost the nation’s manufacturing sector is an industry-friendly rewrite of air quality regulations he says pose “unnecessary and outdated barriers to growth.”

But environmental advocates warn it would be another damaging step by an administration obsessed with deregulation at the expense of hard-fought public health protections.

The proposed loosening of air quality standards came in the form of a directive Trump issued Thursday instructing the EPA to work with states that have metro areas which failed to attain clean air standards. The president’s primary aim, the directive states, is “promoting domestic manufacturing and job creation.”