Advocacy Groups, States Cite Public Health in Suit Over U.S. Pollution Rules
Health and environmental groups on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over allegations that a new limit on ground-level ozone pollution will not protect public health, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports (Hebert, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/27).
In March, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced a rule that will reduce the limit on ground-level ozone air pollution from 84 parts per billion to 75 parts per billion, despite a unanimous recommendation last year by the agency Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to reduce the limit to between 60 and 70 parts per billion (California Healthline, 3/14).
Earthjustice filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on behalf of the American Lung Association and a number of other environmental groups.
According to David Baron, an attorney for Earthjustice, the Clean Air Act "requires EPA to adopt standards strong enough to protect our lungs and our environment," and the rule does not meet that standard.
Bernadette Toomey, president of ALA, said, "The EPA's decision to disregard the overwhelming evidence and the advice of respected experts is a decision that we cannot allow to go unchallenged."
In addition to that case, 11 states -- California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island -- filed a separate lawsuit against EPA that seeks to overturn the rule.
Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Washington, D.C.; New York City; and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/27).