P.M. BRIEFING : Bush's Clean-Air Bill Under Fire

From Times wire service s

President Bush's clean-air bill, which was formally presented to Congress today, drew criticism from a key senator and environmentalists because it would ease an early draft's requirements for reducing motor vehicle pollution and provide wide government latitude to meet industry concerns.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chief Senate sponsor of clean-air legislation, said the final language of Bush's bill "will significantly tarnish his image to be the environmental President." Baucus said the bill would increase motor vehicle emissions, allow cities too much time to clean air and give too much weight to cost in toxic chemical cleanup.

The latest version of the proposal would push back new vehicle emissions standards and would give the EPA administrator discretion to delay new regulations even further.

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