SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 12, 2018 – Leading a coalition of 15 Attorneys General and on behalf of the California Air Resources Board, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today secured a federal court ruling that will require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate areas of the country that have unhealthy levels of smog in excess of federal Clean Air Act requirements. Once the EPA designates an area as not meeting the requirements, the area must take immediate steps to improve its air quality and develop a plan to come into compliance. The EPA was required to make these designations by October 1, 2017. Because it missed the October 1, 2017 deadline without any justification, this coalition, led by Attorney General Becerra, filed a lawsuit against the EPA.
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admitted in this case that it failed to do its job and meet its deadline under the Clean Air Act,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Today, as a result of our lawsuit, the Court ordered the EPA to comply by April 30. The stakes are high. The smog-reducing requirements at issue will save hundreds of lives and prevent 230,000 asthma attacks among children. That’s worth fighting for. We will closely monitor the EPA to make sure it complies with the Court’s order. We stand ready to do what’s necessary to ensure that the EPA does not shirk its legal responsibilities.”