EPA Faces Lawsuit for Failure to Control Air Pollution From Pulp Mills

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Vera Pardee, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 436-9682 x 317

Patty Clary, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, (707) 445-5100

EPA Faces Lawsuit for Failure to Control Air Pollution From Pulp Mills

WASHINGTON - Californians for Alternatives to Toxics and the Center for Biological Diversity
today notified the Environmental Protection Agency of their intent to sue the
agency for failing to review and update Clean Air Act rules for certain
polluting pulp mills. The 60-day
notice
focuses on New Source Performance Standards for kraft pulp mills,
which dissolve wood chips into fibers later used to make paper
products.

New Source
Performance Standards are a part of the Clean Air Act that ensure industrial air
polluters maintain adequate pollution controls. Although the Clean Air Act
mandates that EPA review these standards for each source of air pollution at
least every eight years, EPA has not reviewed the pollution-emission standards
for kraft pulp mills for 24
years
.

"Over the
last 24 years technology has come a long way," said Patty Clary of Californians
for Alternatives to Toxics, "but kraft pulp mills are still stuck in the
'80s." 

Kraft pulp
mills emit a substantial amount of air pollutants, including particulate matter,
sulfur compounds, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Only two of
these pollutants, particulate matter and sulfur compounds, are currently subject
to the performance standards. If EPA does not act quickly to update the
standards, the groups intend to file a lawsuit and seek a court order requiring
the agency to review the standards to ensure that all significant air pollutants
from kraft pulp mills are addressed.

Pulp mills
also generate considerable greenhouse gases during their industrial processes,
another pollution category that remains unregulated by the performance
standards. Because greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare, EPA
should set performance-standard emission limitations for these pollutants as
part of its review.

"The New
Source Performance Standard program has the capacity to be a powerful safeguard
for the air we breathe; let's make sure it's used to its full potential," said
Vera Pardee, senior attorney at the Center for Biological
Diversity.

"The case is
simple: The EPA has a mandatory deadline and has chosen to ignore it for over a
decade," said Helen Kang, director of the Golden Gate University Environmental
Law and Justice Clinic.

This 60-day
notice of intent to sue is required by the citizen suit provision of the Clean
Air Act.

Click
here
for more information on kraft pulp mills.

###

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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