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Denver • An environmental group is alleging that Utah, Idaho and Wyoming have not submitted full plans required by the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions of nitrogen dioxide, which causes air pollution and health problems. 

The allegation is in a lawsuit filed Wednesday by WildEarth Guardians in U.S. District Court in Denver against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The lawsuit states that the agency has failed to comply with the federal act by not issuing a finding that those states and six others, including Colorado, have not submitted the plans as was required by Jan. 22.

WildEarth asserts that a "finding of failure to submit" triggers the start of a two-year deadline for the EPA to promulgate its own plan for how the states must regulate the emissions.

The EPA's website states that healthy persons exposed to nitrogen dioxide from 30 minutes to 24 hours may experience airway inflammation and persons with asthma may experience increased respiratory symptoms.

The EPA was unable to comment on the lawsuit because its regional office in Denver is closed due to the federal government shutdown.

Robert Boczkiewicz