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Attorney General Ken Paxton Files Lawsuit Against EPA's New Ozone Standards


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You've probably heard this before, but Texas has (once again) sued the federal government.

This time, the Lone Star State is challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's new ozone standards, which lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard from 75 to 70 parts per billion.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says in a press release that the lower standards are inappropriate and unrealistic and would cause a serious financial burden on Texas' economy "for dubious public health benefit." 

In March, San Antonio Metro Health doctor Vincent Nathan, who specializes in environmental safety, told the San Antonio Current that Bexar County has high rates of asthmatic children that is often associated with, though not necessarily caused by, high ozone levels.

"We actually do think that lowering it will help people with those types of illnesses," he said.

Paxton goes on to say that EPA's data that supports the lower standard isn't accurate.

“The EPA’s new ozone rule is not supported by scientific data,” Paxton says.  “Areas of the country that fail to comply with these impossible standards will be subject to costly new regulations that will harm our economy and kill jobs."

We also spoke with Alamo Area Council of Governments Natural Resources Director last March, and she told us that penalties for not meeting EPA air quality standards could include air quality controls placed on businesses or personal vehicle emission tests.

She also told us that the AACOG and San Antonio work to reduce ozone pollution by promoting alternate transportation, like B-Cycle, expanding the city's greenways and reducing utility costs and creating energy-efficient building codes.

Aside from all that, Texas' Governor, Greg Abbott, the previous attorney general, made his name suing President Barack Obama and the federal government, and Paxton's continued that trend.

In November, the Houston Chronicle reported that since Obama was elected, the state has spent $5 million in tax dollars suing the federal government a whopping 39 times. Paxton had sued the government six times by the time that story published, to the tune of $250,000, the newspaper reported.

The Lone Star State has won just six of those cases, the Texas Tribune reports. Texas lost 10 cases and withdrew another eight cases, according to the Tribune. Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered the state to pay $605,000 in legal fees to plaintiffs following the Supreme Court's historic decision that declared same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional, the Texas Observer reported.

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