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).