HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline)- A coalition of state attorneys general filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. government, trying to overturn federal smog rules, which the AGs see as too lax.
The attorneys general from 11 states and the District of Columbia, the city of New York and Pennsylvania's department of environmental protection filed the suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Announcing the lawsuit, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the federal government's ozone standards fail to protect the elderly, children and people with respiratory ailments such as asthma.
Plaintiffs in the suit are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, the city of New York and Pennsylvania's department of environmental protection.
The lawsuit was filed the same day that environmental and health groups filed a similar suit.
Filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by Earthjustice, the lawsuit charges that the federal government ignored recommendations from and advisory panel of scientists who recommended more stringent smog standards.
"EPA officials ignored the advice of their own scientists when they chose these deficient standards, but they can't ignore the law," said Earthjustice attorney David Baron.
"The Clean Air Act requires EPA to adopt standards strong enough to protect our lungs and our environment. We're fighting to make sure that happens. Stronger standards could save thousands of lives, by some estimates," Baron added in a statement.
In addition to Earthjustice, plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, National Parks and Conservation Association and the Appalachian Mountain Club.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.