EPA sued over particulate standards

The U.S. EPA has gotten itself sued once again this week, this time by 13 states and the District of Columbia that are pissed off about lenient soot-emission standards. The backstory: EPA analysis has found that reducing soot emissions by a relatively small amount could prevent 24,000 premature deaths a year. Nonetheless, this fall, the agency rejected the near-unanimous advice of its own scientific advisers and left unchanged the annual maximum amount of particulate matter Americans can be exposed to. The states join green groups and the American Lung Association in arguing that the soot standards are too weak; they hope a court will find the EPA has failed in its duty to protect the environment and public health. Meanwhile, a handful of industry groups have also sued, claiming the rules are too stringent.