Environmental and public health groups want a federal court to force the Environmental Protection Agency to issue tougher standards for smog-forming pollution.
The American Lung Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and other groups in a court filing Tuesday, ask a federal judge to require EPA to propose new ozone standards by Dec. 1, 2014, and finish them 10 months later.
“The longer Americans must wait for the EPA to strengthen the standards, the longer they must breathe air pollution that shortens their lives, worsens lung disease, makes it harder for them to breathe, and threatens cardiovascular harm,” the American Lung Association said in a statement Tuesday evening.
The filing is the latest twist in the intense, years-long legal and lobbying battle over EPA ozone regulations. It’s a fight that has drawn high-level White House involvement over the past several years.
President Obama, in 2011, scuttled EPA plans to toughen George W. Bush-era standards but noted that EPA would revisit the rules in 2013.
The 2011 White House action followed heavy lobbying by industry groups, such as the National Association of Manufacturers, that say further tightening of the rules would hobble the economy.
EPA, under the Clean Air Act, must review ozone standards every five years.
The green groups’ filing Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California says completion of that review is overdue.
It notes that ozone rules were last promulgated in mid-March of 2008 and that “there is no dispute that EPA has failed to complete its review.”
What We're Following See More »
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."