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Federal Court Affirms EPA Decision That San Antonio Air Quality Is Below Safe Health Standards

FILE PHOTO: Clouds from Hurricane Harvey are seen in the background as smoke rises from a burn off at an oil refinery in Corpus Christi
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from a burn off at an oil refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S. August 26, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with the Environmental Protection Agency which says that air quality in San Antonio is below safe health standards.

The ruling came down last week, according to a news release from the Environmental Defense Fund. The EPA declared the levels of ozone were too high in the city to meet health standards set forth in the Clean Air Act.

The State of Texas appealed the 2018 decision. The judges ruled that the EPA, not the state is responsible for deciding if a particular locality does not meet the air quality standards.

Environmental group The Sierra Club tried to intervene in the case, stating they wanted surrounding counties to be included in the EPA's designation. The court declined to expand the affected area in their ruling.

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Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.