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Smog & Soot: National Standards Review & Revision

Case Overview

This 2003 lawsuit set the stage for limits on smog pollution from power plants and other sources. We negotiated deadlines with the Environmental Protection Agency to propose standards for ozone, a precursor to smog, by June 20, 2007. The EPA's weak protections mean more pollution for our cities and neighborhoods.

Case Updates

January 23, 2013 | In the News: Bloomberg

EPA soot-screening rule thrown out by U.S. appeals court

A federal appeals court rejected a request from a coalition of power companies and others aimed at getting out of having to monitor and test soot pollution levels from large power plants. Instead, the court ruled that the exemptions violated the Clean Air Act and upheld their requirement for projects at power plants.

December 20, 2012 | In the News: Los Angeles Times

New air pollution standards restrict soot particles

A new air pollution standard approved by the Obama administration is expected to save lives, increase life expectancy and reduce illness in communities affected by air pollution. The EPA estimates annual savings in healthcare and other costs to be around $4 billion to $9.1 billion. The new rules came about in response to Earthjustice litigation.

December 14, 2012 | Blog Post

Lives and Lungs Protected from Deadly Pollutant

Earthjustice litigation, on behalf of public health and environmental groups, spurred the Obama administration to set strong new standards for soot pollution—the first significant update since 1997. The new standards will annually prevent as many as 15,000 premature deaths and reduce health costs by $118 billion.

May 31, 2012 | Blog Post

Judge Jumpstarts Action on Deadly Soot

Nothing cuts baloney like a court order. Today, in response to a request made by Earthjustice, a federal judge gave the Environmental Protection Agency one week to sign a proposal for tightening standards on soot, an airborne mixture of tiny particles that causes tens of thousands of early deaths every year.

The court's action is most welcome: there's been so much foot-dragging at EPA on this issue, you have to wonder if everyone involved needs a new pair of shoes.

May 11, 2012 | Legal Document

PMBrief51112

Brief requesting the federal court to order the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to comply with the Clean Air Act and complete the overdue review of the air pollution health standard for particulate matter also known as soot.