Attorney General Lockyer Files Challenge to Bush Administration Proposal to Relax Clean Air Requirements

Plan Reduces Pollution Control Rules for Power Plants, Manufacturers

Thursday, February 27, 2003
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer issued the following statement on the petition filed today by his office challenging the Bush Administration's plan to reduce pollution control requirements for power plants and manufacturers that make major modifications to their facilities. The petition was filed with the federal appeals court in Washington D.C. on behalf of the people of California and the state Air Resources Board.

"The Bush plan endangers California's own, more stringent program to control emissions from older facilities that produce more air pollution. To borrow Bush's Orwellian name for his air pollution policies, the Administration proposal jeopardizes the progress we have made to produce ‘clear skies' in California. As a result, it undermines the state's efforts to protect our children and elderly from the health hazards associated with air pollution. We cannot afford to let that happen.

"To maintain our ‘new source review' program, we would have to show that each set of rules in the state's 35 air quality districts is stricter than the federal plan, even though our rules, on their face, are tougher than the Bush regulations. In the meantime, we would be forced to start implementing the weaker federal requirements.

"This is just one example of a much broader Bush plan to roll back existing environmental protections and encroach on California's authority to enforce its own laws. The Administration can try to make its policies more attractive by dressing them up as ‘Healthy Forests' and ‘Clear Skies.' We're not fooled. And we're not lying down."

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