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Environmental groups sue EPA to enforce air quality laws for Oklahoma, Missouri, and other states

Environmental groups sue EPA to enforce air quality laws for Oklahoma, Missouri, and other states

Several of the most prominent conservation nonprofits in the U.S. claim, in a federal case, that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed enforce air quality standards.

Every state must submit an air quality report as part of the Clean Air Act. An outline plan for the EPAEvery ten years to reduce air pollution in national parks or wilderness areas. Nearly thirty-six states, including Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, have not submitted updated plans for the EPA. Environmental advocates hope to force the federal agency into action.

When sunlight hits tiny particles from air pollution, haze forms. This creates a haze-like curtain that reduces visibility.

The EPA established the Regional Haze Rule in late 1990s to stop the worsening. Shroud of pollutionObstructing scenic areas of the nation’s most beautiful regions is a serious offense. To meet the requirements, states must collaborate with officials from four federal agencies in order to improve visibility in protected areas.

The requirements apply for 156 nationals National parks and wilderness areasThis includes the Hercules-Glades Wilderness Area, and Mingo Wilderness Area in south Missouri.

In 2017, the EPA amended federal regulations and extended the deadline for state regional haze plans to July 2021. However, the deadline for submitting plans has not been extended to July 2021 by the EPA. In April, the agency announced it was extending its deadline to Aug. 31.

However, that decision is not in accord with federal law, stated Stephanie Kodish who is senior director and counsel to the National Parks Conservation Associations Clean Air and Climate Programs.

Kodish stated that these plans are already past due. There is no mystery or magic here. These plans are being worked on by the states to reduce emissions.

The National Parks Conservation Association works with the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and Environmental Defense Fund. U.S. District Court. EPA suedWednesday

The EPA didn’t respond to a request to comment.

Illinois does not have any wilderness areas or national parks that are included in the Regional Haze Rule. However the state is still required by the EPA to submit a plan. Pollution from industrial facilities can spread hundreds of miles, potentially affecting the air quality in protected areas.

Missouri state officials release A draft regional haze strategyIn late March, and will be open to public comment until May 5.

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The plan identifies seven Missouri-based industries that are negatively affecting the air quality of the Mingo Wilderness Area. They include the Rush Island Energy Center (New Madrid Power Plant), and the Sikeston Power Station.

According to state officials six Missouri facilities are causing air pollution that is leaking into the Hercules-Glades Wilderness Area, near Branson.

The plan does however not require any facilities to reduce emission.

Kodish stated that Missouri state officials must make it a top priority to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plant and other industrial facilities.

Kodish stated that this is the same polluting that makes it unhealthy to breathe and that causes harm to ecosystems as well as wildlife. Regional haze polluting is the same thing. It reduces the clarity and distance we can see, but it also causes respiratory problems.

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