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Among those demands were denial of permits to serial polluters, and proper characterization and cleanup of toxic pollution affecting schools, businesses, and residences.
With other critics, they say state environmental regulators don't do enough to hold polluters accountable, and that limiting local suits would encourage more pollution that jeopardizes public health.
He said: "SEPA publishes a list of its worst polluters every year and Doonin Plant has never been on that list.
The government had proposed annual limits on the amount of carbon that major polluters can emit and supported a system whereby companies could exceed their limits if they agreed to buy carbon trading permits.
He said the Environment Agency's next step was to calculate what the percentage liability of the various polluters was - but he refused to put a timescale on when investigations would be finished.
This vacuum has meant that two of the three traditional ways in which polluters have been called to account--through public outrage and private lawsuits--have gained no traction.
Regulators in the United States, the European Community, and Japan have responded to this concern by merging the polluter pays principle into their domestic environmental liability regimes.
It made sense to pool our resources internationally to go up against big polluters, which often have large legal teams.
Polluters who spoil the North East landscape will now have to pay for the environmental damage they cause.
Once a polluter has begun operations, the victims' options are limited.
The application of Superfund law suggests that the ownership class harvested substantial benefits, and now those same polluters must pay; hence the political popularity of the "polluter pays" principle, which justifies the assignment of retroactive liability to the ownership class.
In a "Serious" air-pollution region, you're a major" polluter if you emit only 50 TPY, and you have nine years to clean up your act.