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EPA Ends Era of Bad Air Quality Rules in SJ Valley

Local air district must start improving air quality

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.

We're the lawyers for the environment, and the law is on our side.