Environmental Groups to Sue EPA Over Air Quality in Southland

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Environmental Health filed a legal notice today of their intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to ensure that Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties have effective plans to reduce smog pollution.

“For too long the EPA has failed to protect people from the dangerous health effects of smog,'' said Robert Ukeiley, a senior attorney at the CBD. “Allowing smog pollution is a political choice, and when the EPA fails to control it, it's children and the elderly who tend to pay the highest price.''

The EPA determined that the Los Angeles and San Bernardino areas have smog pollution at levels high enough to trigger health problems and ecological harm, according to the centers.

“The evidence that smog pollution contributes to adverse health effects is unmistakable,'' said Kaya Allan Sugerman, director of the CEH's illegal toxic threats program. “EPA is legally obligated to ensure more people do not needlessly die from COVID-19 due to unsafe levels of smog pollution.''

Human exposure to ground-level ozone can increase the frequency of asthma attacks, make the lungs more susceptible to infection, inflame and damage airways, make it more difficult to breath, and aggravate various lung diseases including emphysema, asthma and bronchitis.

Those effects have been found in healthy individuals but are more serious in vulnerable populations and among people with underlining health conditions.

Exposure to smog pollution leads to increased visits to emergency rooms, missed school and work days, increased medication use and even deaths. The EPA found that places with elevated concentrations of ozone and long-term exposure to ozone are not only linked to the aggravation of asthma but can cause it to develop.

Photo: Getty Images

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