EPA Ends Era of Bad Air Quality Rules in SJ Valley

Local air district must start improving air quality

This page was published 13 years ago. Find the latest on Earthjustice’s work.

After years of fighting with the EPA and the local air district to improve air quality in California’s smoggy San Joaquin Valley—and often feeling like all of our progress was being made in court—we’re finally seeing some change, at least at the federal level.

Through persistent administrative advocacy, we were able to convince EPA to reject the local district’s do-nothing regulation covering sources that burn coal, petcoke, tires, biomass and municipal solid waste in the Valley.

The regulation would have done nothing to improve air quality in one of the nation’s worst-polluted regions and would have let these facilities, which are significant sources of ozone and particulate matter pollution, off the hook for doing their part to clean up the air. Earlier this month, EPA published its final decision disapproving the regulation, giving the local air district 18 months to fix it or face penalties.

Sarah Jackson worked in the California regional office, focusing on clean energy and air issues around the state.

The California Regional Office fights for the rights of all to a healthy environment regardless of where in the state they live; we fight to protect the magnificent natural spaces and wildlife found in California; and we fight to transition California to a zero-emissions future where cars, trucks, buildings, and power plants run on clean energy, not fossil fuels.