Utahns Suing the EPA Over Los Angeles-Style Pollution Levels

Jul 31, 2012

Concerned with increasing levels of air pollution in the Uintah Basin, a coalition of public health and conservation groups is suing the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr. Brian Munch, of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Climate and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, told UPR's Brianna Bodily that the complaint made asserts that for several years now dangerously high levels of ozone have been recorded in the Uintah Basin:

"When we're talking about high ozone, we're talking about levels that are much higher than those you might find in the most polluted cities in the country, like Los Angeles. People who have to live there are being subjected to significantly higher air pollution than almost any place else we monitor."

It is the EPA's failure to address this issue that has Munch and the rest of the coalition concerned:

"They seem to be using the excuse that the data wasn't technically generated correctly. But even that doesn't seem to be the case. The data seems to be legitimately collected, the stations seem to have been conducted in a proper fashion. If you want to call the results preliminary, that's fine, but that is no excuse for the federal government to not act on that information because the longer this goes on the more public health damage occurs."

With ozone levels this high, Munch says the community will not only see adverse effects on their health, but an increase in mortality rates.

The coalition hopes to have a response from the EPA in the next few months.