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THE STATE | IN BRIEF / FRESNO

Activists Criticize State's Voluntary Air Cleanup

March 11, 2004|From Times Wire Reports

Clean-air advocates say the state's voluntary cleanup of pesticide air pollution has failed to meet targets as far back as the mid-1990s, and though the program has been achieving its goals in recent years, the activists are threatening to sue.

The community groups contend that state officials had promised to replace the voluntary effort with enforceable regulations if the program failed -- and they say that time has come.

"It's quite astonishing that this has been out of whack for so long while regulators have looked the other way," said Brent Newell, a lawyer for the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment that is representing several community activist groups. "They violated the Clean Air Act."

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