May It Please The Court

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May It Please The Court
by Leonard Rivkin
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Imperial Valley Loses Air Quality Challenge

Last October, I blogged about an air-quality case involving Imperial County and the Sierra Club. The October blog post will give you the background.

Basically, the Sierra Club forced the listing of Imperial Valley as a nonattainment area, which means that the entire county did not meet federal clean air standards. The County blamed the failure on bad air coming over the border from Mexico, and fought the designation. The real issue is, of course, money. Nonattainment means that companies in Imperial County are going to have to spend a lot more money to lower the air pollution. The real rub is that they can do nothing to stop the more polluted air from Mexico.

As you would expect after such a loss, the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District appealed to the United States Supreme Court. All the way to the top.

But unfortunately for the County, it was to no avail. The Supremes refused to hear the case, effectively upholding the 9th Circuit's ruling requiring the USEPA to list the County as a nonattainment area.

The Sierra Club, on the other hand, won, and we will ultimately all end up with cleaner air as a result. It's just going to be more expensive, take longer and use more water in an already water-starved area.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 at 12:49 Comments (0)


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