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Federal Lawsuit Goes After Offroad Vehicle Emissions

Snowmobiles, dirtbikes, all-terrain vehicles are subject of challenge
January 7, 2003
Washington, DC —

Earthjustice filed suit in federal court today to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards for snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and all-terrain vehicles. Representing Environmental Defense and Bluewater Network, Earthjustice will argue that the Clean Air Act required far stronger standards than the agency promulgated.

"Snowmobiles in particular are egregious polluters. Many of the snowmobiles that are currently being built emit more pollution in one day than a modern car emits in 100,000 miles of driving," pointed out James Pew of Earthjustice.

The Clean Air Act requires that EPA's emissions standards for offroad engines reflect the use of modern technology that will be available. "This is a forward-looking statute, designed by Congress to provide the cleanest engines that can be built," said Pew. "Past experience with automobiles has shown that each time EPA has required cleaner engines, manufacturers have built them for a reasonable cost. Clean engines could also be built for offroad vehicles -- right now and for a reasonable cost -- but EPA has refused to require it."

"Once again, the Bush Administration is demonstrating utter contempt for protecting the nation's environment. By allowing the indefinite sale of dirty two-stroke engines in snowmobiles, backing off on catalytic converters for all-terrain vehicles, and failing to regulate noise pollution, we will sacrifice air quality, public health, and wildlife," said Russell Long, Bluewater Network's Executive Director. "We refuse to let Mr. Bush get away with this."


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Suzanne Carrier

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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.