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Focus: Air Toxics
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In the News
A federal court has issued a deadline for the Obama Administration to update federal smog standards. The ruling followed an Earthjustice lawsuit against the administration for failing to meet a new standard by March 2013, as mandated by the Clean Air Act. “The court’s decision today will finally put an end to EPA’s foot-dragging on these important health standards,” said Earthjustice attorney Paul Cort.
The Supreme Court struck down an industry challenge that prevented the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating coal plant pollution across state lines. The ruling is a tremendous victory for public health and the environment as it grants the EPA the authority to require old plants to install modern pollution controls. “People who live downwind from this deadly pollution have a right to breathe air that doesn’t sicken and kill them,” Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice president.
The Environmental Protection Agency endorsed mixing coal ash into cement as an alternative to storing it in ponds, claiming it makes cement stronger and emits less emissions than other cement refining techniques. Mixing coal ash into cement could also prevent toxins such as arsenic, lead and mercury from contaminating groundwater. “I think characterizing it as a ‘win’ would be accurate. If you’re going to make coal ash in the first place, locking it up in concrete is preferable to a lot of the other ways we use or dispose of coal ash,” said Earthjustice attorney Lisa Evans.
A federal judge ordered to redo an environmental impact study on Arctic drilling plans which substantially underestimated the amount of recoverable oil and the potential risks to the region. "We’re hopeful the government will come to the conclusion that it’s wrong to sell the leases," said Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe. "I’m not sure how long it will take for the new study but the government has a lot of work ahead of itself. It’s a big opportunity for the government to choose a better path in the Arctic."
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.