NRDC Sues to Block Trump’s Air Pollution Loophole

WASHINGTON  – NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and partners late Friday sued the Environmental Protection Agency to block a Trump-era policy allowing industrial facilities to significantly increase air pollution that endangers public health, including in communities of color overburdened by exposure to pollution.

This egregious policy would allow large industrial polluters to expand their facilities without adding pollution controls, as required by the Clean Air Act. It would greatly increase air pollution while enabling polluters to use accounting gimmicks to hide that increased pollution.

John Walke, Clean Air Director at NRDC, made the following statement:

“This is a free pass to pump more soot and smog into the air that would further endanger people with asthma, lung disease and heart ailments, especially people of color and low-income communities who live within eyesight of industrial facilities.

“We’re urging the court to void this unlawful, harmful policy. We’ve also called on the Biden administration to repeal this rule, in keeping with its goals to restore public health and environmental safeguards that were vastly undermined in the Trump era, particularly in communities of color and low-income communities.”

NRDC, Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund filed their lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​


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