County exploring legal avenues to overturn EPA air-quality decision
Published: May 24,2012
DESOTO COUNTY — DeSoto County has asked a law firm to explore the county’s chances of overturning a federal decision that groups it with Memphis and Crittenden County, Ark., on ozone levels.
The board approved a retainer — up to $3,000 — for the law firm to do some “exploratory” study of the county’s case for reversal of the Environmental Protection Agency decision.
“We haven’t decided yet to pursue a lawsuit,” Supervisor Mark Gardner told the Commercial Appeal. “We’ll also be meeting further with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. There’ll be a formal appeal through the governor’s office.”
A lawsuit may arise if the state process isn’t successful, he said.
“We’re going to fight this decision — in the most-effective way,” Gardner said.
The EPA has included parts of DeSoto with Memphis, which has ozone emissions above allowable limits set by federal regulation. It includes urban areas of DeSoto County and Crittenden County, Ark., in the Memphis ozone “non-attainment” area.
DeSoto County officials fear the designation would hinder development by forcing industrial prospects to comply with more stringent requirements.
Ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog, triggers asthma attacks, causes lung damage and increases the risk of dying from lung disease.
DeSoto and state officials contend EPA made an unfair decision based on faulty science. Gardner and county administrator Michael Garriga were part of a team with state air-quality officials that met in February with EPA to make the county’s case.
The EPA on May 1 ruled against DeSoto County.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
Top Posts & Pages
- A BIG CHANGE: New mortgage rules seen bringing increase in pricey mobile home loans
- Analyst: KiOR Columbus plant may end up sold as scrap
- Warden who lives hundreds of miles from jail resigns
- Jail kitchen supervisor pleads guilty to stealing food
- Nehi Bottling Company has been a Cleveland fixture for 85 years
- (UPDATE) Gov. Bryant: $1.2 billion aluminum plant is a very exciting proposition for the state of Mississippi
- WILLOUGHBY: Bernie Reed cites hard work as key to success of Reed’s Metals
- DAVID DALLAS: Savor this Thanksgiving and be grateful
- Hunting-weapons legislation passes House