The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity filed suit Tuesday against EPA for failure to perform “mandatory duties” required in the Clean Air Act on fine particle (PM2.5) pollution. The Clean Air Act allows EPA six months to issue a finding when a state has missed its deadline for submitting the required PM2.5 attainment plan.
The lawsuit excludes Fairbanks, Alaska, a community of 100,000 with levels of PM2.5 pollution rivaling Beijing, with no plan for attainment, and no finding from EPA.
The lawsuit – excludes Fairbanks: CBD v. EPA PM2.5 SIP Complaint 11-5-2013
According to Jonathan Evans, toxics and endangered species campaign director for the Center:
The Clean Air Act saves lives, protects wildlife and the places they live, and reduces haze from toxic soot pollution. We can only reduce the scourge of air pollution if the EPA and states follow a sound blueprint to clean up our skies. Media Release 11/5/2013
The lawsuit follows the Center for Biological Diversity’s 60-day notice of intent to sue notice regarding EPA’s failure to issue findings for 7 states that had not submitted attainment plans. Fairbanks was included in the notice of intent to sue. According to Mr. Evans, other states were excluded from the lawsuit because EPA had addressed concerned raised in the notice. EPA has not in addressed Fairbanks air quality concerns.
The notice – includes Fairbanks: CBD NOI PM2.5 SIP 8-28-2013
The Clean Air Act required the State of Alaska to submit a state implementation plan (SIP) by the deadline of Dec 14, 2012. The state failed to submit the SIP because every effort has been for delay, not meeting attainment. EPA was required to issue a finding by June 14, 2013 that Alaska’s PM2.5 plan for Fairbanks had not been submitted. EPA has failed to issue the finding. EPA must respond when sued, but perhaps not a minute sooner.