Green Groups Sue EPA to Reverse Pruitt’s Last Act
Environmental groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday in an attempt to block Scott Pruitt's last act as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an act they say his replacement Andrew Wheeler declined to undo despite requests.
On July 6, the EPA wrote two memos saying the makers of super-polluting "glider trucks," new truck bodies using old engines, could ignore an Obama-era rule limiting the number of these vehicles to 300 per manufacturer per year.
"People will die because of Pruitt's parting gift of thousands more super-dirty trucks on our roads spewing toxic pollution into the air we must breathe," senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute Vera Pardee said in a press release. "If Wheeler hopes to distance himself from Pruitt's corrupt brand of loyalty to polluters, he's off to a horrific start."
They are asking the federal court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to hand down an emergency order mandating that the EPA enforce the "glider truck" rule, arguing that the agency cannot simply decide to stop enforcing a rule, The Hill reported.
"Although EPA labeled its action a 'decision not to enforce' the Act and its implementing regulations, this nationwide action is nothing like the sort of case-by-case enforcement decisions for which agencies are granted considerable discretion," the green groups wrote in their lawsuit, according to The Hill.
The groups are also concerned about the amounts of deadly air pollution produced by the trucks.
One EPA study found that glider trucks emit about 43 times the nitrogen oxide and 55 times the particulate matter of trucks with new engines using up-to-date pollution controls, according to The Hill.
The EPA also estimated that unlimited glider trucks on the road could cause up to 1600 early deaths due to particulate matter, the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in a press release.
For the groups behind the suit, the fact that they have to bring it at all is proof that Wheeler will not act much differently from Pruitt when it comes to protecting human health and the environment, despite his slightly-more green rhetoric.
"Wheeler, like Pruitt, is trying to pull the wool over the American people's eyes, this time passing off a wolf in sheep's clothing—the outside of these trucks may look new, but inside, they're run by old dirty engines. The EPA's decision to halt the enforcement of this rule endangers the health and safety of American families and our climate," Sierra Club chief climate counsel Joanne Spalding said in a statement reported by The Hill.
'Kicking Ass for Her Generation': Applause for 16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg as EU Chief Pledges $1 Trillion to Curb Climate Threat
By Julia Conley
Sixteen-year-old climate action leader Greta Thunberg stood alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday in Brussels as he indicated—after weeks of climate strikes around the world inspired by the Swedish teenager—that the European Union has heard the demands of young people and pledged more than $1 trillion over the next seven years to address the crisis of a rapidly heating planet.
In the financial period beginning in 2021, Juncker said, the EU will devote a quarter of its budget to solving the crisis.
‘Plastic Is Lethal’: Groundbreaking Report Reveals Health Risks at Every Stage in Plastics Life Cycle
With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the world's oceans every year, there is growing concern about the proliferation of plastics in the environment. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about the full impact of plastic pollution on human health.
But a first-of-its-kind study released Tuesday sets out to change that. The study, Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, is especially groundbreaking because it looks at the health impacts of every stage in the life cycle of plastics, from the extraction of the fossil fuels that make them to their permanence in the environment. While previous studies have focused on particular products, manufacturing processes or moments in the creation and use of plastics, this study shows that plastics pose serious health risks at every stage in their production, use and disposal.
Air pollution within the home causes 3.8 million deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization. A recent University of Colorado in Boulder study reported by The Guardian found that cooking a full Thanksgiving meal could raise levels of particulate matter 2.5 in the house higher than the levels averaged in New Delhi, the world's sixth most polluted city.
But soon, you will be able to shop for a solution in the same place you buy your budget roasting pans. IKEA is working on a specially-designed, air-purifying curtain called the GUNRID.
A rare species of giant tortoise, feared extinct for more than 100 years, was sighted on the Galápagos island of Fernandina Sunday, the Ecuadorian government announced.