The state of North Carolina attacked federal environmental policy through the courts again this week, when Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for an immediate hearing on action to stop pollution he claims is arriving in N.C. from 13 Southeastern and Midwestern states, according to an Aug. 13 report in The News & Observer of Raleigh. “Pollution doesn’t respect state boundaries,” Cooper told the newspaper. “Pollution blows across all of the Southeastern U.S. This will help other states as well.”
The state originally petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency in 2004 to help North Carolina’s counties meet federal air-quality standards (some one-third of the state’s 100 counties fail that standard). The motion for hearing was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the state was joined by the Sierra Club and Environment North Carolina in asking for the hearing. The transported-pollution action comes in conjunction a recently argued lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority, also aimed at cross-boundary pollution (see Xpress’ article, “Downwind”). The state is currently awaiting outcome from the TVA trial, which was held in federal court in Asheville.
— Nelda Holder, associate editor