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EPA Sued by 11 States to Enforce Standards Limiting Soot

New York, California and nine other states sued to enforce clean air standards after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to meet a deadline to reduce pollution from soot.

The lawsuit, filed today in federal court in Manhattan, asks a judge to order the EPA to propose and complete the standards for particulate matter, or soot.

“The delay caused by the administrator’s failure has harmed and continues to harm the states by delaying the adoption and implementation of more protective fine particulate matter standards that will result in cleaner and healthier air,” according to the complaint.

According to the American Lung Association, one in 17 Americans lives in areas with unhealthy year-round levels of pollution from soot, Attorney General Peter P. Kilmartin of Rhode Island, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement today. Most soot comes from diesel vehicles and power plants, he said.

“The science is clear that the current federal standards for soot emissions are woefully inadequate, causing premature deaths and serious chronic respiratory harm,” Kilmartin said.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington also sued the EPA.

“EPA is continuing to work on proposing” the standards, an agency spokeswoman, Betsaida Alcantara, said in an e-mail.

The case is U.S. v. Jackson, 12-cv-10064, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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