The Capital Schlepps
The Sierra Club sued the U.S. EPA yesterday for extending the deadline for the Washington metro area to meet federal air pollution limits for ozone. The area missed the original deadline of November 1999, and the EPA granted it a reprieve last month until 2005, without reclassifying the region from a “serious” to “severe” non-attainment area. Enviros want the area reclassified, which would force state and local officials in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia to put tighter limits on polluters and shift transportation funds from new roads and other sprawl-happy projects to improved mass transit. If they are successful in their suit, enviros hope to set a precedent for forcing the reclassification of other metro regions that fail to meet clean air standards.