Z-AP-STATE-NEWS

Apr 14, 2010 6:49 PM

Law firm gearing up for suit over AZ air pollution

PHOENIX (AP) A public interest law firm is moving closer to filing a lawsuit over clean air violations in Maricopa County.

The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest served notice on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality that the state is in violation of "an emission standard or limitation" under the federal Clean Air Act.

The center's letter says that by repealing the funding of the Local Transit Assistance Fund, the state has violated the Arizona state implementation plans for carbon monoxide, ozone and particulates.

The center threatens to file suit in federal court unless the funding is restored.

The ADEQ says it is reviewing the potential suit at the governor's request.

A statement from Director Ben Grumbles says the agency knows public transit plays a big role in cleaning the air but it is too early to say if the funding cuts would violate the state clean air plan.

Grumbles says that is "an important and complex question that will likely involve EPA and lots of lawyers."

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