States, Enviros Move to Sue Over Clean Air Act Changes

Within hours after the Bush administration relaxed the federal clean-air rules governing the nation’s power plants, refineries, and other facilities yesterday, environmental organizations and state attorneys general were preparing challenges to the rule change. The Northeast, in particular, was a flurry of legal activity, as the states most affected by emissions drifting eastward from coal-fired power plants in the Midwest began to get their ducks in a row: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania said they would go to court to block the rule change. “A large portion of the pollution impairing New Jersey’s air quality comes from out-of-state pollution sources,” said that state’s governor, James McGreevey (D). ” We will not allow the federal government to walk away from its responsibility to safeguard the quality of our air and protect the health of our residents.”