EPA spokesperson Hanady Kader: “Not much we can say in terms of the (pending lawsuit’s) implications.”
Alaska DEC air program manager Cindy Heil: “Everyone is trying to address the problem as quickly as we can. We need to do it thoroughly. You don’t want to cause more problems somewhere else.”
FNSB Mayor Luke Hopkins: “We’re all working together and (EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy) expects a plan to come forward.”
As soon as Oct 28, the Center for Biological Diversity can file suit to force EPA to publish a finding. Under the Clean Air Act, a finding is required when a state misses its deadline to submit a plan to meet federal air quality standards. The deadline was Dec 14, 2012, 277 days ago. The state was given the deadline in a 2009 Federal Register notice.
EPA, it’s your ball. Follow the law and issue the finding. Don’t wait for a legal ruling to force you to do the right thing. Start the countdown to economic sanctions now to compel cooperation for air that’s fit to breathe.
The cost of delay is further harm to health. Harm to health should be enough to light a fire for action. The longer EPA and DEC wait to take action, the more people will be injured, disabled, and possibly die prematurely.
It appears Mayor Hopkins agrees. “Have you been in the hospital? Maybe no, but your neighbor has,” he said.