Judge: Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion vi­o­lated smog find­ings law

Ripon Bulletin - - State / Dollars & Sense -

SAN FRAN­CISCO (AP) — The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion vi­o­lated fed­eral law when it failed to meet a dead­line to iden­tify all parts of the U.S. that don’t meet air qual­ity stan­dards for smog, a fed­eral judge ruled on Mon­day.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge Hay­wood Gilliam or­dered the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency to com­plete the des­ig­na­tions by the end of April.

His rul­ing was for two law­suits, in­clud­ing one filed by California, 13 other states and the Dis­trict of Columbia.

The EPA had un­til Oc­to­ber 1, 2017, to des­ig­nate what parts of the coun­try were in and out of com­pli­ance with tougher smog stan­dards adopted dur­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The states’ law­suit said smog can cause or ag­gra­vate dis­eases in­clud­ing heart dis­ease, bron­chi­tis and em­phy­sema, and the new stan­dards would save hun­dreds of lives each year.

The des­ig­na­tions trig­ger a process that forces pol­luted re­gions to take steps to im­prove air qual­ity.

An email for com­ment sent to the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice was not im­me­di­ately re­turned.

California At­tor­ney Gen­eral Xavier Be­cerra said in a state­ment on Mon­day that the state will “closely mon­i­tor” the EPA to make sure it meets the court’s or­der.

“We stand ready to do what’s nec­es­sary to en­sure that the EPA does not shirk its le­gal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” he said.

The EPA ac­knowl­edged that it vi­o­lated the Clean Air Act by fail­ing to is­sue the air qual­ity des­ig­na­tions by the Oc­to­ber 1 dead­line, but said it was mov­ing fast and would com­plete the process no later than April 30, ac­cord­ing to

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