Suit to Enforce Ozone Standards

cycling through redwood trees
Richardson Grove (CalTrans)

The WildEarth Guardians sued the Environmental  Protection Agency in federal court for alleged failure to implement 2008 Ozone standards under the Clear Air Act.

The lawsuit filed in San Francisco’s Northern District this week seeks to force the EPA to promulgate rules to ensure states prevent significant deterioration in air quality from smog.

Smog is the common name given to ground-level ozone pollution, which has been linked to asthma attacks, coughing, increased emergency room visits and even premature death.

The lawsuit alleges the EPA lowered allowable levels of smog in ambient air in 2008 but has failed to follow through on two nondiscretionary duties to implement the rules and to protect public health.

It accused the EPA of failing to ensure that all states adopt plans to implement the 2008 standards and submit the plans to EPA for approval with the three year deadline after enactment of the rule changes.

Only Kentucky and Tennesee have submitted the required plans for approval, according to the lawsuit.

States that fail to comply are subject to EPA-imposed plan.  But so far the EPA has failed to make any findings that states have failed to submit timely plans, according to the suit.

James J. Tutchton, attorney for WildEarth Guardians has asked the court to order the EPA to enforce the lower ozone standards.

 Case:  WildEarth Guardians v. Jackson,  No. C11-5651DMR

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