Smog Lawsuit Spurs Self Reflection for the LA Region
Posted July 19, 2011
Today, the LA Times reported on a lawsuit filed by health, environmental and environmental justice groups filed yesterday in the Los Angeles region. Later in the day, LA Times reporter Paul Whitefield took to the Opinion LA blog analyzing the comments received about that article and litigation effort, including opining that “Los Angeles survived Carmageddon. But Ozonegeddon may be a tougher nut to crack.”
Coping with the serious health threats from high levels of smog imposes serious impositions on children, the elderly and residents throughout the region. Moreover, we need to use this moment in time to get more serious about reducing smog pollution, including reducing our dependence on foreign oil by promoting cleaner transportation solutions.
The LA Times opinion piece ends with three points that are hard to argue with. These arguments are as follows.
The Los Angeles area has a long history of elevated ozone levels, and the American Lung Assn., in its annual State of the Air report, recently determined that the region has the highest ozone level in the nation.
“Angelenos continue to breathe smoggy air that makes people sick, forcing mothers to question whether to allow children to play outside on dirty air days,” said Adrian Martinez, an attorney for the NRDC. "These are choices mothers should not have to make."
In Los Angeles, an estimated 1 million adults and 300,000 children have asthma, outranking 23 other congested cities, according to the American Lung Assn.'s 2011 State of the Air report.
Overall, LA has made strides to reduce air pollution, but we continue to have a health crisis related to air pollution. Missing any deadlines imposed by the Clean Air Act should be taken extremely seriously, especially for places like LA. That is why physicians joined environmental and community groups seeking to uphold EPA's duties under the Clean Air Act.
Note: the initial post incorrectly referred to the opinion piece appearing in the LAT Blowback section, it appears in the Opinion LA blog.