By Kevin Deutsch
New York is suing the Trump administration over its “continued disregard” of smog pollution reaching the Big Apple from other states—a legal effort aimed at forcing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to comply with the Clean Air Act, state officials said Thursday.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District, follows an October ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in which that court agreed with New York and other “downwind states” that the EPA erred in allowing the out-of-state emissions to continue, state officials said.
Thursday’s suit, filed by New York Attorney General Leticia James, argues that the EPA is currently in violation of federal law, which requires the agency to stem downwind pollution emissions.
Since the D.C. Circuit’s ruling, the EPA has announced no plans to address the smog reaching New York from other states, state officials said.
“More than two-thirds of New Yorkers regularly breathe unhealthy air, yet the Trump Administration continues to ignore the smog caused by upwind air pollution,” said James. “We will not allow the federal government to trivialize the law, and minimalize the importance of clean air for millions of New Yorkers.”
The Bronx, New York City’s northernmost borough, is particularly vulnerable to downwind smog and air pollution. Asthma death rates in the Bronx are three times higher than the rest of the nation, research shows.
A study appearing in the Journal of Asthma found that asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization and of school absence for children in the Bronx .
Bronx children are twice as likely to be hospitalized for asthma and are more likely to die of asthma than other children in the U.S., the study found.