Judge Orders EPA to Clean Up their Act
August 18, 2006
In August 2006, a federal court agreed with the Sierra Club that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been "grossly delinquent" in failing to protect public health from toxic air pollution. The court ordered the EPA to issue long overdue rules to control poisonous emissions from dozens of categories of industrial plants throughout the nation. The EPA has acknowledged that these uncontrolled sources are some of the worst contributors to the nation's air pollution problems, and the EPA's own studies show the toxic pollutants at issue cause unacceptable risks of cancer and other disease. Nonetheless, the agency asked the court for a "leisurely schedule" (as the judge put it) to control the pollution. Fortunately, the court agreed with the Sierra Club and its attorneys at Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund that the EPA had no excuse for years of "footdragging" and that the agency should act far more quickly. Notably, the court's decision follows closely on the heels of a Government Accountability Office report that concluded the EPA has failed to protect the public from toxic air pollution. Instead, the EPA's has squandered taxpayer dollars by adopting discretionary rules that make it easier for coal-fired power plants and other industrial plants to pollute the air. The court's decision sends a strong message to the EPA that it must act more responsibly to protect public health.
Details and Documents:
Judge blasts EPA's efforts
August 4, 2006 by Jane Kay San Francisco Chronicle
Judge blasts EPA for delays in Clean Air Act implementation
August 7, 2006 by Jenny Mandel GovExec.com
See other "Retiring Old Coal" cases.