Connecticut, Other States File Suit on Ozone Standards

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Gina McCarthy on May 27 announced that the state is suing to overturn new federal ozone standards too weak to protect public health.

Also suing are California, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, and the city of New York.

In approving the standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ignored the advice of its own scientists who recommended more stringent rules. Ozone is a key component of smog, which exacerbates or causes respiratory illnesses.

"These illegal EPA rules are breathtaking in defying plain law -- and will take away breath from millions of Americans suffering from killing and crippling smog," Blumenthal said. "The EPA purposely defies clear scientific proof that ozone and smog must be stopped to protect people from disease and early death. On orders from the White House, the EPA has permitted politics and profits to override science and citizen health -- a result that is immoral and illegal.

"I will fight in court to overturn these reprehensible, irresponsible rules, with a powerful coalition of states and environmental and public health advocates. We seek a court order compelling the EPA to set strong and effective standards based on science," Blumenthal said.

Connecticut and the other states filed their appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit.

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