February 9, 2018

CT books victory in downwind pollution fight

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

A Bridgeport federal judge this week ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must take action on a petition from Connecticut government officials challenging downwind pollution from a Pennsylvania power plant.

Connecticut filed a federal Clean Air Act petition in June 2016 asking the EPA to find that the Brunner Island plant -- located on the Susquehanna River south of the state capital in Harrisburg -- is emitting pollutants that worsen Connecticut's ozone standards, according to court records. Such a finding could require the plant to take actions to reduce that pollution, under the act.

The EPA was supposed to rule on the petition in Jan. 2017, but has not yet done so, according to legal records.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen sued the agency and its administrator, Scott Pruitt, in May 2017 over its inaction.

On Wednesday, Judge Warren Eginton granted the state's motion for summary judgment, ordering the EPA to hold a public hearing on the petition within 30 days and issue a decision within 60 days.

The agency had asked the court to set a December deadline.

The Sierra Club and Connecticut Fund for the Environment are intervenor plaintiffs in the suit.

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