Sierra Club threatens EPA with suit of Texas' Clean Air Act noncompliance

The Fort Worth Star-TelegramJune 3, 2010 

The Sierra Club gave the EPA official notice Wednesday that the federal agency has 60 days to make Texas comply with the Clean Air Act or it will be sued in federal court.

The conservation group wants the Environmental Protection Agency to step in and enforce the Clean Air Act in Texas. The Sierra Club says Gov. Rick Perry's administration has not protected Texans from dangerous air pollution and has allowed many of the state's industries to emit contaminants.

Diane Taheri, deputy director of the EPA's office of external and government affairs, confirmed that the agency received the Sierra Club's notification Wednesday and that it is under review.

"The EPA agrees that Texas air is extremely important, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that Texas air quality meets federal standards," Taheri said.

The Sierra Club also said Texas has not enforced portions of the implementation plan being developed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to help the state meet clean-air requirements.

"The state has missed deadline after deadline to submit a clean-air plan," said Neil Carman, clean-air program director for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. "We plan to go ahead and file the lawsuit in 60 days unless the TCEQ and the EPA adopt an aggressive clean-air plan and comply with the Clean Air Act," he said.

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