Court Upholds Stronger Clean Air Health Standards

Rejects industry challenge to limits on nitrogen dioxide pollution


Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday rejected industry attacks against health protections that limit nitrogen dioxide air pollution emitted by refineries, power plants, factories, and motor vehicles.

Nitrogen dioxide pollution is linked to breathing impairment, asthma attacks and other health impacts.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency strengthened the standard in 2010 based on studies showing the pollution was harmful to people’s health at lower levels than previously thought. Nitrogen dioxide pollution is linked to breathing impairment, asthma attacks, hospital and emergency room visits, and other health impacts. It presents special risks to children, older adults and people with asthma.

Earthjustice intervened on behalf of Natural Resources Defense Council to oppose the industry challenge.

The following statement is from Earthjustice attorney Abigail Dillen: “Nitrogen dioxide pollution triggers asthma attacks and sends people to hospitals and emergency rooms. This decision is great news for children, older adults, and millions of Americans with asthma whose health is endangered by this pollution.”

The failed court challenge was brought by oil, power, and gas companies.

Additional Resources

About Earthjustice

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.