PHOENIX (CN) – Phoenix residents say the Environmental Protection Agency failed to take action on a state plan to reduce airborne particulates in the Phoenix metro area by 5 percent to meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Phoenix was given a “D” grade by the American Lung Association for particulate pollution this spring.
Sandra L. Bahr, Diane E. Brown and David Matusow say the health of other Phoenix residents is endangered by breathing air “that is less pure than required” by the Clean Air Act. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson had until June 30 to approve or reject the state’s plan, according to the federal complaint.
The EPA considers Phoenix a “serious nonattainment” area, which fails to meet federal health and welfare standards for air pollutants. Air particulates include airborne dust, soot and dirt emitted or tossed up by cars, construction and wind. The particulates can damage lung tissue, the respiratory system and “the body’s defense systems against foreign materials.”
Plaintiffs want the court to declare that Jackson violated her duty under the Clean Air Act, and they want her ordered to act.
They are represented by Joy E. Herr-Cardillo and Timothy M. Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest.