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Kennecott Utah Copper accused of violating Clean Air Act

A lobbyist group made up of mothers and doctors is suing Kennecott Utah Copper over mining dust pollution that they claim violates the United States Clean Air Act. The group is blaming the company, which mines one of the largest pits in the world, of contributing up to one-third of Salt Lake County's pollution.

The company responded to the claims by saying the accusations are without merit, according to the Huffington Post.

"Kennecott has and continues to operate within the parameters of its air permits and is consistently in compliance with U.S. EPA and Utah Division of Air Quality regulations, which are based on strict standards for protecting human health," the company said.

Utah's chief air regulator did acknowledge that the company has been violating a 1994 Environmental and Protection Act law that limited the company to hauling only 150 million tons of ore a year. However, the state has allowed Kennecott to mine as much as 260 million tons most recently.

Medical-grade air purifiers may assist in keeping indoor spaces free of the pollutants named in the suit.

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