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Monday, January 17, 2011

San Francisco Environmentalists Sue EPA Over Clean Air Act

Posted By on Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Sparing Polluters
  • Sparing Polluters

It's Spare the Air Day, and here is why we should refrain from air-polluting behaviors.

The San Francisco-based Sierra Club has joined WildEarth Guardians in a legal battle to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to hold more than two dozen states accountable for protecting its residents from some of the most hazardous air pollutants.

In the suit, which was filed in San Francisco court last week, environmentalists argue that the EPA is neglecting to reject or even accept states' plans to combat fine particulate that is a major cause of air quality problems across the United States. While dozens of states have crafted plans, as mandated by the Clean Air Act, others have not even bothered to turn over plans of how they will address the new standards for air pollution.

The EPA determined that exposure to this pollutant causes a slew of respiratory problems, including decreased lung function and asthma. It is also related to premature death and lung cancer. Knowing this, the agency in 2006, decided to revise the standards for addressing the toxic pollutant.

Each state is required to develop an "infrastructure plan" to help protect residents from the harmful effects.

The EPA is supposed to review each plan, and reject or accept it within 12 months after a state submits it. But, according to the suit, the groups claim that the EPA has failed to take any action on at least six of the plans, and hasn't penalized 32 other states for not submitting a plan at all (no, that doesn't include California).

So basically, the agency is allowing polluters to pollute.

So, as you can see it's important to keep the air fresh and clean, even if you no longer have a financial incentive to spare our air, do it for your own health.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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