OLYMPIA — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson continues to bear down on the Trump-era Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A lawsuit filed Tuesday by Ferguson and 14 other attorneys general alleges the EPA is unlawfully postponing air-quality standards for ground-level ozone pollution.
That delay violates the Clean Air Act, according to a news release by Ferguson’s office.
The EPA adopted the ozone-pollution standard in 2015 and was supposed to have guidelines in place by October designating areas around the nation that meet or don’t meet the new rules, according to the release.
Tuesday’s lawsuit comes after Ferguson and others this summer blocked the EPA from delaying the same ozone designations by an additional year, according to the news release.
“The EPA’s primary role should be environmental protection, not playing politics,” Ferguson said Tuesday in a statement. “I will continue to hold the Trump Administration accountable to the rule of law.”
Breathing ozone can spark health problems, particularly in children or the elderly, and in those who have a lung disease like asthma, according to the EPA’s website.
Ferguson’s lawsuit asks the courts to “find that the EPA has violated the Clean Air Act and order the agency to perform its legally required duty,” said Ferguson spokeswoman Brionna Aho.
An EPA spokesperson said the agency will not comment on pending litigation.
Ferguson had previously hailed this summer’s ruling on the ozone-pollution guidelines as one of his successes against President Donald Trump’s administration.
A day after that Aug. 1 challenge was filed, “Administrator [Scott] Pruitt reversed course and withdrew the decision to delay,” Ferguson wrote in a recent letter.
In Ferguson’s ever-expanding legal portfolio opposing the Trump administration, a disproportionate number have been aimed at the EPA.
Of 18 lawsuits that Ferguson has filed or joined, seven involve the EPA or Pruitt.
Included in those are efforts to keep the EPA from delaying a chemical-disaster rule and a rule that regulates emissions from new gas and oil facilities.
Ferguson has also filed or joined lawsuits opposing three different Trump travel bans and the president’s move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.