Overwhelming Data Confirming Clean, Safe Air in the Glades Released and Air Quality Lawsuit Dropped

Clewiston, FL – Statement from Judy Sanchez, U.S. Sugar’s Senior Director for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, regarding the recent dismissal of lawsuit challenging controlled, pre-harvest sugarcane burning:

“As sugarcane farmers have maintained from the start, the case against air quality in the farming region was without merit.  We believed the science, data, and regulations that support our work every day would show that the air quality in the Glades is ‘good’—the highest quality under federal regulations. Today, the Plaintiffs and their lawyers dropped the lawsuit and voluntarily dismissed all of their claims with prejudice.

Unsurprisingly, the Plaintiffs dropped the case just before deadlines required them to produce facts and evidentiary reports in support of their claims.

The Plaintiffs are walking away from their case after U.S. Sugar recently released three years of air quality data and its second annual State of Our Air Report, which provided scientific, accurate, and actual air quality data from both publicly available monitors and a series of private monitors located throughout the farming communities. Every one of these monitors provided consistent data confirming the Glades air is safe, healthy and ‘good.’  This data also confirmed air quality in the Glades region meets all state and federal clean air standards.

In contrast, the Plaintiffs failed to produce or provide a single data point related to our communities’ air quality. Instead, they relied on hypothetical modeling to provide speculations—which, they admitted, was inaccurate and had to be corrected in repeated re- filings before the court.

Throughout these continued attacks both in court and by well-funded outside activist groups coming into our cities, the people of the Glades communities have demonstrated unwavering support for our local farmers who live here, work here, and raise our children here.  They understand that our farming practices are safe, environmentally sound and among the most advanced and heavily regulated in the nation.”

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Background materials:

U.S. Sugar’s Second Annual “State of Our Air” Report

Timeline of important dates in lawsuit

Copy of dismissal as filed

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