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Coalition of 11 states sues US EPA over soot rules

A coalition of 11 states filed a lawsuit to compel the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promptly to revise national air quality standards for air pollution involving soot. The EPA had failed to meet an October 2011 deadline for revising the existing standards.

Led by the State of New York, the coalition also includes California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, asks the Court to order the EPA to adopt new air pollution standards promptly and by a date certain.

The federal Clean Air Act requires the EPA every five years to review and, if warranted by advances in public health science, revise the national air quality standards for common air pollutants, including soot. EPA last revised the standards in 2006. However, New York and 15 other states challenged those standards as lax, and having been adopted against the advice of EPA’s own air pollution experts and the agency’s independent scientific advisors.

In 2009, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with the coalition of states, and ruled that the EPA had not justified its decision to adopt those lax standards. The Court returned the standards back to the agency for reconsideration in light of the Court’s concerns that the standards failed to adequately protect public health.

In response to the court’s remand, the EPA stated that it would revise the soot standards as part of its next five-year review under the statute. However, that statutory deadline—17 October 2011—passed without the EPA proposing revised soot standards.

On 16 November 2011, Attorney General Schneiderman and the states joining in the current lawsuit sent a 60-day notice to the EPA, stating their intention to sue over the agency’s failure to timely revise the soot air pollution standards. The EPA has not taken action in response to the coalition's notice, leading Schneiderman and his coalition to take the latest legal action. New York and other coalition states also have a petition pending before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals asking that court to order the EPA promptly to revise the soot standards.

Comments

HarveyD

Will it be enough to stop the (R)reps from blocking Federal legislation to reduce air pollution?

SJC

Someone's soot is someone else's profits. Coal power plants in Pennsylvania want to burn coal, people breathing the air in neighboring states do not, but they will use the power all the same.

Chris McCormick

Maybe Pennslyvania wouldn't mind paying for neighboring states health bills, lost of work, and costs of early death due to lung and other ailments....

SJC

Good luck with that, you can't prove it was their coal that caused your lung problems. Sad but true.

kelly

"Maybe Pennslyvania wouldn't mind paying for neighboring states health bills, lost of work, and costs of early death due to lung and other ailments....

Good luck with that, you can't prove it was their coal that caused your lung problems. Sad but true."

So many environmental matters can be settled by common sense. There's 100 years of X health problem rate.

A year(s) after ____(fracking, soot, etc) there are 2X, 5X, ..) as many health problems.

The cause is clear, the degree of restitution is for the sentencing phase.

Since the originator of the change(fracking, soot, ..) maintains innocence, the court will mandate that all the corporate officers and their families be relocated to the location and conditions under dispute until trial is complete.

Think it would take decades to 'study and settle' the case if the 1% must also live in the case environment?

SJC

It is the same argument, the wrong wing wants hands off anything goes profit maximization and the rational people know harming others is wrong. The wrong wing uses scare tactics with labels like "big government" and your "bills will go up"...same stuff.

Rick Crammond

A couple of years ago, the UN, WHO and US EPA, jointly declared that particulates (soot) was the "health issue of the decade", because it kills over 4 million people a year.

Home plasma fusion generators will soon enable us to stop the burning. At less than 1% of the current cost for power, the new technology sweeping the planet will in fact make the burning of fuels obsolete and, just plain stupid.

Engineer-Poet

Trying to close the bold tag.

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