Last week, state Attorney General Josh Stein added North Carolina to two multi-state coalitions filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Their grievances target the EPA’s retreats from critical rules protecting clean water and air.
In the Clean Water Act lawsuit, Stein joined the Attorneys General of 19 other states (and the District of Columbia) to fight the Trump EPA’s decision to “arbitrarily” limit states’ authority to review the impacts of federally permitted projects that can impact clean water. This is one of the Trump Administration’s many efforts to reverse stronger environmental standards, aiding his attempt to push through more polluting dirty energy projects despite objections from states and local communities.
In the Clean Air Act lawsuit, Stein joined 25 states, cities, and counties to challenge the EPA’s attack on a critical rule limiting mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants. This is the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), adopted by the Obama Administration in 2012. The Trump Administration’s attack on MATS attempts to reverse substantial gains in pollution control which were crucial for reducing toxic pollution especially dangerous to children and pregnant women.
“The EPA is supposed to be leading with science and implementing protections to safeguard the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Stein. “Instead, the agency is consistently ignoring the data and taking steps that will negatively affect our health and set back our fight against climate change.”
Both of these lawsuits underscore the urgency of considering public health and our environment when voting for president, U.S. Senate, statewide offices (including Attorney General), and state legislature this fall. Our Conservation PAC endorsed Stein for re-election.