Environmentalists Attempt to Apply RCRA to Diesel Emmissions

Date: February 25, 2008

Source: News Room

Environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council and others are said to be testing an innovative legal approach to attack air pollution not usually subject to the Clean Air Act. They charge that solid particulate matter (PM) emissions from diesel fuel at ports around the country constitute the improper disposal of hazardous waste. Albeit a long shot, if successful, it would render the Clean Air Act superfluous by making PM violations from any source potentially a violation of RCRA. NRDC and the California group Coalition for a Safe Environment are suing the Port of Long Beach, CA, arguing that the facility is improperly disposing of wastes such as arsenic, cadmium, nickel, lead, mercury and other compounds "while attached to or associated with diesel particulate matter." Other attempts by environmentalists to apply RCRA to other regulatory programs have generally been unsuccessful. In 2005, local groups in Idaho failed to win a suit aimed at regulating crop-burning residues under RCRA.

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