Air Pollution in Ohio – seems the Governor doesn’t get that we want clean air

The state of Ohio joined polluting industries in late 2020 and asked the Trump administration to remove an important provision of the federally enforceable Clean Air Act Implementation Plan in Ohio. This provision is called the Air Nuisance Rule. Sierra Club has asked the new Biden administration to reconsider this action and we have also filed an appeal in federal court to challenge this damaging change to regulations. The new Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked us to hold our appeal (and we agreed) for 90 days.

President Biden signed an Executive Order on January 20, 2021 that establishes a policy “to listen to the science; to improve public health and protect our environment; to ensure access to clean air and water; to limit exposure to dangerous chemicals and pesticides; to hold polluters accountable, including those who disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities; to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change; to restore and expand our national treasures and monuments; and to prioritize both environmental justice and the creation of the well-paying union jobs necessary to deliver on these goals.”

Because of this executive order, the DOJ says EPA “could take further action that may obviate the need for judicial resolution”, in other words, possibly resolve this issue favorably for us.

Not surprisingly, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and the Ohio Chemistry Council are seeking to become intervenors in this appeal. Seems they are the ones behind this rollback of clean air rules.

Huge damage is being done to environmental justice communities that suffer from nearby pollution. We need to get this Air Pollution Rule back into the federal regulations so citizens and Sierra Club can enforce this aspect of the Clean Air Act.

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