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U.S. EPA ANNOUNCES COURT APPROVAL OF WAITING PERIOD ON AIR PLAN

Release Date: 2/6/1995
Contact Information: Bill Glenn, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1589

  (San Francisco) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA)
announced that U.S. District Court Judge Harry Hupp today ruled that the effective date
of a backup federal clean air plan for Southern California could be put on hold until
February 1997.


         "This is good news for California," said David Howekamp, director of air and
toxics for U.S. EPA's western region.  "This decision by the court provides the breathing
room we all need to approve a state clean air plan and withdraw the court-ordered
federal plan before it goes into effect."


         Howekamp said U.S. EPA will be working quickly on review and approval of the
state plan.  "We are fully devoted to working with the state to make any progress
necessary to bring about full approval of its plan," said Howekamp.  "This includes
addressing appropriate national standards as well as assisting California's efforts to adopt
its proposed state controls."


         U.S. EPA, the Coalition for Clean Air, and the Sierra Club had requested the
two-year waiting period in a filing to U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California on January 13.  The Coalition for Clean Air and the Sierra Club are plaintiffs
in the lawsuit that resulted in a court order that the federal clean air plan be
promulgated.


         The waiting period is designed to allow sufficient time for U.S. EPA and the state
to complete work on the state's own clean air plan before a federal plan would take
effect.  While the federal plan must still be finalized by the court deadline of February
14, current progress toward approval of a state clean air plan makes it highly unlikely
that the federal plan will ever be implemented.


         Judge Hupp today granted the state of California status as an intervenor in the
case, but denied the state's motion to delay the February 14 promulgation deadline.



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