Press Releases

Lawsuit Launched to Force Trump EPA to Protect California’s Ventura County From Deadly Smog

For Immediate Release, June 4, 2019

Contact: Robert Ukeiley, Center for Biological Diversity, (720) 496-8568,
Caroline Cox, Center for Environmental Health, (510) 655-3900,

VENTURA, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Environmental Health filed a notice today of their intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to finalize plans to curtail dangerous smog in Ventura County, Calif.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has unlawfully delayed a decision on five components of the county’s plan to reduce ground-level ozone pollution linked to asthma and cardiovascular problems.

“The EPA’s foot-dragging is literally choking the county’s most vulnerable residents,” said Caroline Cox, research director at the Center for Environmental Health. “If we’re going to guarantee healthy, clean air for all everyone in the country, the EPA must enforce the Clean Air Act.”

Ventura County, which is home to more than 800,000 people, has failed to meet federal smog standards for decades.

According to the American Lung Association, Ventura County’s chronic smog pollution places 12,317 children at risk for pediatric asthma, 43,418 people at risk for cardiovascular diseases, and 30,511 at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Smog pollution also harms wildlife and ecosystems. The region’s ponderosa pines are particularly sensitive to smog pollution, which can stunt growth, interfere with photosynthesis and increase risks from disease, weather and insects, according to the EPA.

Ponderosa pine habitat is critical for several species, including endangered California condors.

“Cleaning up Ventura County’s dangerously smoggy air is a legal requirement that even the fossil fuel addicts running Trump’s EPA can’t ignore,” said Robert Ukeiley, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It shouldn’t take legal action to make sure vulnerable people and wildlife are protected from harmful air pollution. But that’s why we have the Clean Air Act. We’ll continue to use its tools to force this administration to do its job.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The Center for Environmental Health works with parents, communities, businesses, workers, and government to protect children and families from toxic chemicals in homes, workplaces, schools and neighborhoods.