NEW YORK (AP) - Environmental groups have sued the federal government, asking a judge to restore clean air standards for vehicles on the nation's highways.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Manhattan federal court. The Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Clean Air Carolina sued the Transportation Department and the Federal Highway Administration, saying a federal safeguard meant to reduce climate-changing emissions was abruptly withdrawn in May.

A message seeking comment from the Federal Highway Administration was not immediately returned. The lawsuit said the Federal Highway Administration suspended a measure requiring states to measure and set reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions by highway vehicles.

The groups asked a judge to declare that the suspension violated federal law because it was imposed without providing public notice and soliciting public comment.