www.latimes.com 19th July 2011
A group of environmental and public health organisations have lodged a lawsuit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to the latter’s perceived failure to curtail pollution levels, and therefore smog, in the city. The EPA had recently missed a deadline in May to calculate whether ozone levels in the area were hazardous to human health, a decision that could trigger tougher limits on vehicle and industry pollution. Los Angeles already has the highest rates of ozone in the country according to the American Lung Association. It is also has the highest rates if asthma with 1 million adults and 300,000 children diagnosed with the condition. The suit was filed by several organisations including Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Desert Citizens Against Pollution, Communities for a Better Environment and the Natural Resources Defense Council. In nearby San Joaquin Valley, a similar lawsuit was filed by the Sierra Club and Medical Advocates for Healthy Air. If the EPA does end up determining that ozone levels in LA are too high then the regions regulatory agency, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, would have one year to submit a clean-up plan. The EPA have refused to comment on the lawsuit.