New York leads group of states in lawsuit against EPA over delay of new chemical safety rules

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WASHINGTON — A coalition of 11 states has filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s decision to delay new chemical plant safety rules from taking effect for at least two years.

The group led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a petition for review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The states say Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt exceeded his legal authority by delaying the new Accidental Release Prevention Requirements until 2019.

“Protecting our workers, first-responders, and communities from chemical accidents should be something on which we all agree. Yet the Trump EPA continues to put special interests before the health and safety of the people they serve,” said Schneiderman. “It’s simply outrageous to block these common sense protections – and Attorneys General will keep fighting back when our communities are put at risk.”

The Obama-era regulations are aimed at preventing explosions, fires and poisonous gas releases at more than 12,000 chemical facilities across the country.

In addition to New York, the other states joining the lawsuit are Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

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