Groups Call State’s Emissions Plan Illegal

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Four environmental groups appealed California’s new emissions guidelines, claiming they fall short of Clean Air Act mandates for highway ozone levels and expose more than 1.5 million citizens who live near freeways to illegal levels of pollution.

     The National Resources Defense Council says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should not have approved an Air Quality Management Plan that does not address findings that air quality near highways is far worse than air quality at most area testing sites, and that fails to take steps to bring air quality near highways in line with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
     The groups also say the management plan relies on irrelevant strategies, such as the Marine Vessel Fuel Rule, which would have reduced emissions had it not been struck down by the 9th Circuit.
     The plan also counts on emissions reductions from the EPA’s Locomotive Rule, projected to have an effect by 2014, and non-mandatory reductions of car emissions, the groups say. That faulty math violates the EPA’s own requirements, the groups say, because emissions budgets must be based on legally enforceable legislation.
     Coalition members include the NRDC, the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, Coalition for a Safe Environment, and the Endangered Habitats League.
     The Clean Air Act requires petitions for review to be filed in federal appeals courts.

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