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Indiana seeks to overturn EPA decision on air quality in Lake, Porter counties

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Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Wednesday they will appeal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to designate Lake and Porter counties as nonattainment regarding ozone.

The EPA includes Lake and Porter counties in the Chicago metropolitan statistical area, and Illinois air quality exceeded the ozone standard by less than 1 percent.

Daniels said for the first time in the history of the Clean Air Act, all of Indiana’s counties meet air quality limits, yet the state is “about to be punished by the EPA because Illinois’ air doesn’t.”

“EPA restrictions make it harder to hire people, and we don’t want to lose jobs in Indiana, where the air is clean, just because the air isn’t clean enough in Illinois,” he said.

The state was notified by the EPA earlier this year about the decision to designate the two Indiana counties as nonattainment. A release from the governor’s office says that the air in the counties has met the ozone standard and all other air quality standards since the end of the 2007-2009 measurement period.

The Illinois air monitor in question has been impacted by that state’s exemption of all vehicles produced before 1996 from its vehicle admissions testing program, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. IDEM claims that had those older vehicles been tested, the air monitor would have met the federal standard.

The petition for judicial review is in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

“By arbitrarily lumping us in with Chicago’s dirty air, EPA has wrongly penalized northwest Indiana even though Lake and Porter counties are within the proper ozone levels and the federal nonattainment designation would do nothing to improve air quality in the two counties. The state will ask the federal appeals court to stay this EPA action before the burdensome new nonattainment permit requirements force local companies to move their expansion projects elsewhere due to cost,” Zoeller said.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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