The environmental group WildEarth Guardians announced this week its intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to crack down on smog pollution in the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico, where unchecked fracking is taking a dangerous toll on clean air.
“Despite the Biden administration’s promises to put public health first, the oil and gas industry is getting a free ride to pollute the Permian Basin and undermine clean air,” said Jeremy Nichols, Climate and Energy Program Director for WildEarth Guardians. “The Environmental Protection Agency needs to stop dragging its feet and start helping people.”
In the face of booming oil and gas extraction, levels of ground-level ozone–the key ingredient of smog–have violated federal health standards in southeastern New Mexico. In light of these violations, WildEarth Guardians in March called on the Environmental Protection Agency to declare the region a dirty-air area, otherwise known as a “nonattainment” area, under the Clean Air Act.
In a Clean Air Act petition filed with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator, WildEarth Guardians also called on the Agency to sanction the State of New Mexico for turning its back on the serious smog problem and allowing the oil and gas industry to keep increasing air pollution in the region.
Click here for WildEarth Guardians release