Md. AG sues EPA in an effort to control emissions from other states

FILE - In this June 12, 2017 file photo, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh speaks during a news conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON — The state of Maryland has sought a judicial review in the U.S. Court of Appeals regarding the EPA’s decision to deny Maryland’s Clean Air Act relief petition, state Attorney General Brian Frosh said.

The 2016 petition — in which Maryland implored the EPA to add controls on the emissions of ozone-forming nitrogen dioxide (NOx) from 36 power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — was denied last spring.

Delaware had created a similar petition that was also denied.

“The Agency has concluded that neither Delaware nor Maryland has met their burden to demonstrate that the sources they named emit or would emit ozone forming pollutants at levels that violate the Clean Air Act’s good neighbor provision for the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards,” the EPA said in a statement following the original petitions.

 

Still fearing elevated NOx emissions levels, Frosh said in a statement that Maryland is appealing the EPA’s decision.

“EPA’s decision to deny our petition gives a greenlight to out-of-state power plants to continue sending their pollution downwind to Maryland. Maryland strictly controls NOx emissions within its own boundaries, but other states need to do their part to keep ozone levels down,” said Frosh.

“Requiring power plants to implement common sense standards to reduce harmful emissions is the responsibility of EPA.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan requested that Frosh file the petition for judicial review in September.

“Our administration will continue to fight for clean air for all Marylanders, and this legal action to hold the EPA to its commitments is a necessary step to ensure our tremendous progress in improving our air quality continues,” Gov. Hogan said in a statement.

 

The NOx that is emitted from upwind power plants is a precursor to the ozone that the statement said “plagues Maryland when the weather is warm.”


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