EPA Sued for not Enforcing State Air Quality Report Deadlines

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Caught not doing its job, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been ordered to take action against 35 states that failed to submit air-quality plans that address new ozone standards.


Three environmental groups (WildEarth Guardians, Midwest Environmental Defense Center and the Sierra Club) sued the EPA in federal court, claiming the agency was late in faulting 40 states for not revising their ozone-reduction schemes.


U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers agreed with the plaintiffs and ordered the EPA to notify 35 states about their overdue plans.


Rogers let five states (Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Oregon and West Virginia) off the hook because they submitted plans before the litigation was filed.


In March 2008, the EPA updated the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone to 0.075 parts per million. States then had until March 12, 2011, to submit their revised implementation strategies and the EPA then had six months to issue findings of “failure to submit.”


Judge Gonzalez Rogers gave the EPA until January 4, 2012 to submit the findings it was supposed to have submitted in September.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

States That Sat on Clean Air Duties Get Slapped (by Rebekah Kearn, Courthouse News Service)

WildEarth Guardians v. Lisa Jackson (U.S. District Court, Northern California) (pdf)

Obama Transparency? Not So Impressive when it Comes to Science (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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