Environmentalists win settlement to curb air pollution in urban areas
Pressure from environmentalists has led to federal government approval for controls on air pollution in a number of US urban areas by 2002.
The agreement settles a case brought by Environmental Defense and five other groups. The groups had called for states to draw up clean air plans to control air pollution.
The settlement gives states extra time to address local air pollution problems. If states fail to create adequate air pollution control plans by deadlines set in the Clean Air Act, the US EPA can step in to create its own pollution control plans in the areas.
“This settlement is an important public health victory,” said Environmental Defense transportation director Michael Replogle. “Now, the states must step up to the plate with real plans to protect people from air pollution. State and local governments should help to replace dirty old technologies with new and cleaner ones for transportation, energy, industry, and consumer products, and work to slow sprawl and the growth of dependence on motor vehicles.”
The urban areas covered by the settlement are:
- metropolitan New York, Northern New Jersey and Long Island
- Greater Connecticut (Hartford)
- metropolitan Philadelphia, Wilmington, Trenton
- Baltimore and Washington, DC metropolitan areas
- Springfield, Massachusetts
- metropolitan Houston, Galveston, Brazoria (Texas)
- metropolitan Chicago, Gary, Lake County
- Milwaukee/Racine metropolitan area
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