WASHINGTON — The House overwhelmingly rejected Thursday an industry-backed drive to take the tough, controversial issues of air pollution and acid-rain control off the congressional agenda until at least 1989.
In what members called the environmental vote of 1987, majorities in both political parties combined for a 257-162 defeat of an amendment that would have extended the Clean Air Act's compliance deadlines until Aug. 1, 1989.
Instead, by a voice vote the chamber approved an extension of the law's Dec. 31, 1987, deadline for curbing ozone and carbon monoxide pollution until Aug. 31, giving Congress eight months to work on revising the law.
The extension would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing sanctions during this period against any of the 60 or more metropolitan areas and cities that the EPA says will miss the Dec. 31 compliance deadline. The 60 areas include Southern California's South Coast Air Basin, which encompasses all of Orange County and the non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. San Diego County and some other metropolitan areas in California are also affected.