GreenLaw Challenges EPA’s Clean Air Re-designation for Atlanta

Citing recent air quality reports, on March 6 GreenLaw became the only organization to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Atlanta’s clean air re-designation. The comments were filed on behalf of Mothers and Others for Clean Air and the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club.

For Immediate Release
 
Media Contact:
Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, GreenLaw
sbenfield@greenlaw.org
404-659-3122

GreenLaw Challenges EPA’s Clean Air Re-designation for Atlanta
GreenLaw urges EPA to review recent air quality reports and the state’s incomplete implementation plan

March 13, 2013 (ATLANTA) – Citing recent air quality reports, on March 6 GreenLaw became the only organization to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Atlanta’s clean air re-designation. The comments were filed on behalf of Mothers and Others for Clean Air and the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club.
 
The EPA recently issued a proposed rule to re-designate the Atlanta area to attainment from nonattainment, signifying that it believes the air quality in Atlanta is clean compared to the National Ambien Air Quality Standard set in 1997.  The agency’s decision was based on data from 2008 through 2010. 
In order to re-designate an area, the EPA must conclude that decreases were due to permanent and enforceable emissions reductions.  Further, the EPA must find that an area has the proper plans in place, and that a re-designation determination will not affect levels of other pollutants.
GreenLaw challenged the re-designation as faulty on the following grounds:
 

 
“We urge the EPA to carefully review recent air quality data and the state’s weak clean air plan,” said Ashten Bailey, staff attorney at GreenLaw.  “The truth is that Atlanta’s air is filled with harmful pollutants that can cause health problems for millions of Georgians.  The state needs a robust plan to improve air quality for future generations, and the EPA should hold it accountable.”

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GreenLaw is dedicated to preventing air and water pollution that endangers human health and degrades Georgia’s natural resources. Since 1992, GreenLaw has achieved these goals by providing free high quality legal and technical assistance to environmental organizations and community groups throughout Georgia. For more information, visit www.greenlaw.org and follow @greenlaw_GA on Twitter.

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