EPA sued over port pollution
SAN FRANCISCO -- Environmentalists sued the federal government Wednesday alleging it had failed to regulate emissions from oceangoing vessels that pollute the air and cause respiratory illness around ports nationwide.
The lawsuit accuses the Environmental Protection Agency of missing its deadline to set emissions standards for ship engines that spew exhaust into communities surrounding ports in Oakland, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle and other cities. The complaint was filed by Oakland-based Earthjustice on behalf of Friends of the Earth.
“These emissions have a widespread negative impact on the people and the environment,” said Teri Shore, Friends of the Earth’s clean vessels campaign director in San Francisco. “What’s at stake here is the lives of thousands of people around the country who will continue to inhale diesel exhaust from large ships.”
EPA officials in Washington did not return calls for comment.
Oceangoing ships are among the fastest-growing sources of air pollution, with emissions projected to double in North America over the next 10 to 20 years.
Studies have linked air pollution from ports to higher rates of asthma other health ailments.