This should not come as a shock, but it is disappointing nonetheless. In a filing in federal court (and H/T to BNA Daily Environment Report for spotting this!) the U.S. EPA has said it does not intend to set final new fine particle soot air quality standards before mid-2013! EPA says it intends to propose new standards by June 2012.
This is quite a disapppointment to health and environmental groups. The science is already in: we know current air standards are too weak. In fact, people are getting sick and dying under current standards. There is no excuse for EPA to drag its feet.
You may recall the background: the prior Bush administration set standards that were weaker than recommended by EPA's science advisers. State, health and environmental groups sued, and the EPA decision was found to be arbitrary and capricious. The court told EPA to go back to the drawing board. New science was reviewed. Again the science advisers have called for tougher standards.