A lawsuit to force the US Environmental Protection Agency to reduce levels of soot spewed from exhaust pipes and smokestacks was launched Monday by more than a dozen states, the Associated Press reported.
Cutting soot emissions could save thousands of lives, but the Bush administration refuses to reduce the allowed threshold for soot, despite scientific evidence and the opinions of federal government experts, the states argue.
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said that "fine particulate matter" in soot contributes to premature death, chronic respiratory disease, asthma attacks, increased hospital admissions and other public health costs, the AP reported.
"It's unfortunate that this coalition of states must resort to legal action to get the EPA to do its job - protect the environment and the public health," said Spitzer, the Democratic governor-elect of New York.
Other states that joined New York and the District of Columbia in the action filed in the US Court of Appeals in Washington: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. – (HealthDayNews)
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