Earlier today, local environmental and public health groups filed suit against the US Environmental Protection Agency hoping that they make efforts to clear the air in the Los Angeles region.  The law suit specifically identifies the amendments made to the federal Clean Air Act in 1990 which calls for the EPA to certify by May 2011 whether or not air districts have met the established one-hour standard for ozone pollution.  If the standard is not met, the EPA is then required to ensure that regional authorities implement a cleanup plan.  According to the plaintiffs in the suit, which include the Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, Desert Citizens Against Pollution, Communities for a Better Environment, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Los Angeles region has not yet met the national standard.

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The South Coast Air Quality Management District would be the organization required to submit a plan within a year to help Los Angeles clean-up its act.  As of last year their ozone monitoring stations indicated a .143 parts per million (ppm) of ozone in the air in an hour, well above the .12 ppm that the national standard calls for.  Crating changes in the numbers that LA is currently generating would require tough regulations and policies on planes, trains, and automobiles while also including ships, refineries, and a variety of other sources.

Just how bad is the air we’re breathing?  According to the American Lung Association’s 2011 State of the Air Report, LA is the smoggiest region in the nation.  It is estimated that 1 million of the city’s adult residents and 300,000 children suffer from asthma, a number that outranks 23 other urban areas.

+ Clean Air Act