Mary Nichols & Ann Carlson in Cal Matters: Here’s why California’s clean air fight with the feds matters
California’s latest clean air fight with Trump’s EPA is about more than backlogged paperwork — but it likely won’t hurt the state’s federal transportation funding anytime soon.
Then last week, California’s head air quality enforcer Mary Nichols responded to the EPA saying that highway sanctions typically take more than 18 months to mete out and, in any case, the backlog is on the EPA’s end, not California’s. “Indeed,” she wrote, “you may not have been aware in writing your letter, [California Air Resources Board] has been helping U.S. EPA to resolve its administrative backlog for years.”
There’s more to the story than California trading barbs with the feds, according to University of California Los Angeles environmental law professor Ann Carlson. “This is EPA being willing to play very fast and loose with the facts in order to push the president’s agenda.”