Federal ozone suits get local support | TheUnion.com

Federal ozone suits get local support

A local group concerned about Nevada County’s air quality is considering ways to support two federal lawsuits filed this week against the Environmental Protection Agency.

Last week, 11 states including California filed a lawsuit in an effort to overturn EPA smog guidelines set earlier this year. The states say the guidelines didn’t follow recommendations made by an EPA science advisory board.

In addition, Earthjustice filed another lawsuit on behalf of a number of environmental and conservation groups and the American Lung Association, charging the EPA’s most recent guidelines fail to protect public health and the environment.

EPA officials defend the standards they have set, arguing they are the lowest protective smog requirements the agency has ever issued.

Organizers of the group Save The Air in Nevada County are consulting with lawyers to investigate ways to support the litigation. Options include joining the plaintiffs or filing an amicus brief, said Marina Bernheimer, director of STA in NC.

“We’re trying to explore ways to support it,” Bernheimer said.

A group of concerned local residents formed the group last year in reaction to high summer ozone levels transported to the foothills from vehicle exhaust from the Sacramento Valley. So far, this season’s mild temperatures have kept ozone levels low and healthy, save for one day two weeks ago.

Online registration for the first Sierra Ozone Summit will close today at 5 p.m. People who fail to pre-register can pay $25 at the door on June 4 at the Holiday Inn Express in Grass Valley. The 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. event features a long lineup of speakers and experts from the EPA and state and metropolitan air quality districts.

For more information visit online at http://www.myairdistrict.com/index.php/summit

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