New York Sues EPA for Withholding Emissions Information
New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to turn over information about the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in paints and similar products. Because VOCs contribute to smog and respiratory problems, EPA has limited the amount of VOCs that paints, stains, and varnishes can contain. EPA allows exemptions, however, if companies report the amounts by which they exceed the limits and pay a so-called “pay to spray” fine. DEC requested information on those exceedances via the Freedom of Information Act, but EPA has refused to release it on the grounds that it constitutes confidential business information. “The state is entitled by law to this critical information so it can effectively implement its clean-air programs to preserve public health and the environment,” says New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who believes EPA is violating both the Freedom of Information Act and the Clean Air Act.
Boehland, J. (2006, April 3). New York Sues EPA for Withholding Emissions Information. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/new-york-sues-epa-withholding-emissions-information