December 27, 2017

CT, seven states sue Trump EPA over wind-borne smog

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
State Attorney General George Jepsen.

Connecticut has joined New York and six other states in a lawsuit against the Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure upwind states control pollution that blows into the eight downwind states.

Attorney General George Jepsen joined New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who is leading the coalition, in filing the lawsuit Tuesday against the EPA to force action under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA's own studies demonstrate that pollution from states upwind of New York contributes "substantially" to the state's harmful levels of smog, Schneiderman said. "Millions" of New Yorkers are affected, he said.

The lawsuit challenges the EPA's denial of a petition that New York and several other states filed in late 2013 for the agency to add nine additional states to the "Ozone Transport Region," a group of states established under the federal Clean Air Act that must act in concert to reduce smog pollution within the region.

Congress created the Ozone Transport Region to help states address pervasive smog problems in the northeastern U.S. The region consists of 11 states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont – and the District of Columbia metropolitan area.

Filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the lawsuit asks the court to review the denial of the petition, determine that the denial is unlawful and to vacate it.

Joining Connecticut and New York in the suit are Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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