[JURIST] Several public health and environmental groups filed a petition for review [PDF; press release] of new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] standards in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Tuesday. Non-profit environmental law firm Earthjustice [advocacy website] is handling the suit, which alleges that the EPA ignored the input of top scientists in issuing its smog regulations [EPA materials] in March. An EPA Advisory Board and many scientists had recommended placing the smog standards up to 15 parts-per-billion lower than the number ultimately set by the EPA [JURIST news archive].
The Earthjustice lawsuit alleges that the EPA made the decision as a result of pressure from the White House. Last week, a US House report suggested that California's request to implement stricter vehicle emissions standards was denied by the EPA last December due to White House influence [JURIST report]. A coalition of eleven states, including California, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine, also filed a similar lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that the new smog regulations fail to adequately protect public health. AP has more.