June 22, 2017
CT Green Guide

Malloy ‘dismayed’ at EPA’s smog delay

Gov. Dannel Malloy said a decision this month by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to delay more stringent standards for ground-level ozone, or smog, will hurt Connecticut state residents' health and the economy.

Pruitt notified Malloy and other governors on June 6 that the EPA had extended the deadline for "initial area designations" – an early phase related to the implementation of EPA standards established in 2015 under President Barack Obama.

Connecticut has the highest concentration of ground-level ozone in New England and doesn't meet the new standards.

New England states sued the EPA last year demanding that it apply stricter smog limits to nine states that send their pollution this way -- Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

"More than 90 percent of our pollution blows into our state from other places," Malloy wrote on Wednesday to Pruitt. "In fact, on some days, every power plant and factory in our state could shut down and Connecticut would still exceed the ozone [limits]."

Besides health concerns over smog, such as asthma, the EPA delay will hurt Connecticut's economy, Malloy argued, because it allows other states to avoid investing in limiting pollution.

He said that contradicts Pruitt's reasoning for the decision earlier this month:

"We are committed to working with states and local officials to effectively implement the ozone standard in a manner that is supportive of air quality improvement efforts without interfering with local decisions or impeding economic growth," Pruitt wrote.

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