AP NEWS

The Latest: California sues EPA over salt pond protections

September 24, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on disputes between California and the EPA (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

California’s attorney general has filed another lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Tuesday filing by Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra relates to salt ponds in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The more than 1,300 acres of salt ponds are owned by a private company that wants to develop them.

The EPA in March ruled the ponds were not considered “waters of the United States” that get protections under the Clean Water Act. It reverses an earlier finding by a regional EPA office in 2016.

Becerra says the EPA’s action means the ponds can be developed without following certain permitting procedures.

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10 a.m.

The Trump administration is taking aim at poor air quality in California, telling the state it risks losing federal highway funds unless it addresses the problem.

In a letter Tuesday to the California Air Resources Board, the Environmental Protection Agency describes the state’s air quality as the worst in the country, with 34 million people living in areas that do not meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards. That is twice the number of people as in any other state.

It calls on the state to address what the agency said was a backlog in plans aimed at reducing poor air quality.

The move is the latest battle the Trump administration has picked with California over its environmental policies.  

Last week, the Trump administration revoked California’s authority to set its own emission standards.