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Earthjustice Lawsuit Challenges EPA's Failure to Control Pollution from Consumer and Commercial Products

Challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's fundamentally dysfunctional air toxics program, Earthjustice has filed seven lawsuits each day for a week.
July 24, 2001
WASHINGTON, DC —

Challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's fundamentally dysfunctional air toxics program, Earthjustice has filed seven lawsuits each day for a week. Today's final suit addresses EPA's failure to regulate pollution from consumer and commercial products, such as paints, aerosol sprays, and solvents.

EPA now has missed two statutory deadlines for controlling VOC emissions from consumer and commercial products; one expired in March 1999 and one in March 2001.

"Emissions from paints, solvents, and the like contain volatile organic compounds that contribute to ground level ozone pollution," said Dr. Bob Palzer, chair of Sierra Club's Air Committee. "Some of those compounds are also hazardous air pollutants that can cause cancer, birth defects, and similarly catastrophic health effects. EPA's failure to promulgate these regulations is yet another unfortunate example of the agency's failure to live up to its obligations under the Clean Air Act."

"It is absurd that citizen groups like Earthjustice and Sierra Club should have to sue EPA just to get the agency to perform duties that are already spelled out in the Clean Air Act," said Jim Pew, an Earthjustice attorney."

Adds Dr Palzer, "it's symptomatic of an agency that has lost sight of its purpose. EPA's function is to protect public health and the environment from pollution. With respect to air toxics at least, the agency's efforts are hopelessly inadequate."

Earthjustice filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

For more information, contact Suzanne Carrier of Earthjustice (202-667-4500) or Bob Palzer, Ph.D. of Sierra Club (541-482-2492).

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Contacts

Suzanne Carrier

202.667.4500, x. 209

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.