Arizona GOP leaders, Chamber sue EPA over new air pollution standard



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A group of prominent Arizona Republicans sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday over new air pollution regulations that they claim will hurt the economy.

The Republican leaders of the state’s House and Senate joined with the state Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the suit, alleging the new standards for fine air pollutants known as PM 2.5 are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion.” 

PM 2.5 are some of the finest air pollutants, just 2.5 microns in size, small enough to enter a person’s bloodstream. They have been long identified as harmful, and new EPA regulations announced this month reduce target levels from 12 micrograms per cubic meter to 9 micrograms.

The EPA noted that Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, is one of the Arizona areas out of compliance with the new regulations, which it estimates could save $46 billion a year by 2042 nationwide by preventing premature deaths and sickness.

The plaintiffs claim that making Arizona fall in line with the new regulations would cost billions and represents an overreach by the federal government. 

Arizona Chamber president Danny Seiden told The Arizona Republic that while he supports clean air, the new regulations are unnecessary.

“If the stated goal under the Clean Air Act is to provide cleaner, healthier air, this decision makes no sense,” he said.

He added that many of the sources of PM 2.5 pollution in Phoenix are not able to be reduced, like from wildfires, and that the high bar would be impossible to achieve. He also noted a potential impact on business, showing concerns the rule may drive up manufacturing costs, leading companies to manufacture products in other countries.

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