Opposition to the Bush administration’s efforts to weaken the Clean Air Act is growing, with California, Wisconsin, and Illinois yesterday joining 10 Northeastern states in filing lawsuits against the U.S. EPA. At issue is a decision to weaken the act’s New Source Review rules, which historically have prohibited aged power plants from upgrading their facilities without installing state-of-the-art pollution controls. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer called the move by the administration “one aspect of a continuing effort by the federal government to roll back and eviscerate California’s strong environmental laws.” Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) said he had decided to sue “to protect our citizens and our environment from the hazards associated with air pollution.” Aside from Illinois, most other Midwestern states, which are power-plant powerhouses, support the Bush plan.

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