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By Phil Milford
WILMINGTON Del. - New York, Rhode Island 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 Feb. 10 in federal court in Manhattan, asks a judge to order the EPA to propose and complete the standards for particulate matter, or soot.
â€śThe delay caused by the administratorâ€™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,â€ť 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 F. Kilmartin of Rhode Island, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement Feb. 10. Most soot comes from diesel vehicles and power plants, he said.
â€śThe science is clear that the current federal standards for soot emissions are woefully inadequate, causing premature deaths and serious chronic respiratory harm,â€ť Kilmartin said.
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington also sued the EPA.
â€śEPA is continuing to work on proposingâ€ť the standards, an agency spokeswoman, Betsaida Alcantara, said in an email.
The case is U.S. v. Jackson, 12-cv-10064, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).