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PNS Daily Newscast - September 23, 2020 


U.S. COVID-19 deaths double in last 4 months as total tops 200,000; poll workers in short supply as Texas registers a record number of voters.


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It's National Voter Registration Day. Plus, the Supreme Court and the nation's abortion debate are back in the election spotlight.

CA Urges Court to Make Feds Regulate Air Pollution from Landfills

Puente Hills landfill in the Los Angeles area is the largest waste dump in America. (Britta Gustafson/ Wikipedia)
Puente Hills landfill in the Los Angeles area is the largest waste dump in America. (Britta Gustafson/ Wikipedia)
August 14, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California, eight other states and the Environmental Defense Fund are asking a federal judge to force the Environmental Protection Agency to act on pollution standards for landfills.

Decomposing solid waste in municipal landfills emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas linked to climate change.

Susannah Weaver -- a partner at Donahue, Goldberg, Weaver and Littleton and a lead attorney on the case -- said the EPA has been dragging its feet for three years, claiming it needs time to align the standards with other, future policies.

"But it doesn't explain why it should retroactively extend these deadlines," said Weaver, "that should have been completely fulfilled many years ago were it not for EPA's unlawful action to delay them."

In 2016, the Obama administration issued standards requiring each state to make a plan to mitigate air pollution from landfills -- or be subject to a federal plan. California's program requires municipal dumps to install methane-capture technology.

Weaver said landfills also emit benzene -- a toxic pollutant that causes cancer -- and volatile organic compounds that create smog.

"The bottom line here is that these landfills emit hundreds of thousands of tons of dangerous pollution that should be controlled right now," said Weaver, "but they haven't yet been implemented."

Meanwhile, yesterday the Trump administration reversed another Obama-era federal rule that limits methane emissions from oil and gas facilities.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA