Make your own free website on
"Dedicated to exposing the lies and impeachable offenses of George W. Bush"

Judges Say E.P.A. Ignored Order in Setting Emission Standards
NY Timesss
Published: March 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, March 13 — A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rebuked the Environmental Protection Agency in a decision Tuesday, indicating that the regulators had flouted Congress and the courts in setting the standards governing hazardous air pollution emissions from plants making bricks and ceramics.

The panel concurred in a single opinion that the agency had ignored a federal appeals court opinion directing it to follow the Clean Air Act's instructions in setting emission standards for kilns making bricks and ceramics. These kilns collectively emit more than 6,440 tons of toxic acids and small soot, which can cause breathing difficulties, organ damage and cancer.

The ruling said the agency had ignored the court's order to ensure that the basis for its standards was emission levels achieved by kilns using the most effective technology currently in use in the industry.

"If the Environmental Protection Agency disagrees with the Clean Air Act's requirements for setting emission standards it should take its concerns to Congress," the judges wrote in an unusually pointed final paragraph.

"If the E.P.A. disagrees with this court's interpretation of the Clean Air Act," they continued, the agency should appeal its earlier ruling. "In the meantime, it must obey the Clean Air Act as written by Congress and interpreted by this court."

In a statement on the Web site of Earthjustice, the organization that represented the Sierra Club in its suit against the E.P.A. over the standards, James Pew, a lawyer, said: "This decision is not just about brick kilns. It is about an agency that thinks it is above the law, and chooses to ignore Congress, the courts and the citizens who have called upon E.P.A. to protect against this pollution."

Jessica L. Edmond, the agency's deputy press secretary, released a statement saying that "E.P.A.'s innovative strategies to improve air quality are achieving real results," adding that the disputed rules were reducing toxic air pollutants by approximately 2,300 tons a year.

Ms. Edmond said the Bush administration would review the ruling before deciding whether to appeal it.

Original Text