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Federal lawsuit targets Utah air-quality plan

Federal lawsuit targets Utah air-quality plan

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DENVER (AP) -- An environmental group wants a federal court to make the Environmental Protection Agency answer its claims that the state of Utah illegally allows polluters to exceed air-quality standards.

WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Denver asking the court to order the EPA to rule on a petition it submitted in 2007. The petition challenges Utah's plan to meet federal air-quality standards, saying that provisions allowing regulated facilities to exceed pollution limits during breakdowns or malfunctions violate federal law.

WildEarth Guardians contends that the federal Clean Air Act doesn't allow automatic exemptions. The group says the EPA has criticized Utah's exemption in the past.

Utah state officials didn't immediately return a call after business hours.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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