Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Clean Air Advocates Urge EPA to Reduce Smog in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Across the Eastern U.S.


NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Sharyn Stein, EDF, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org
Leah Kelly, Environmental Integrity Project, 202-263-4448, lkelly@environmentalintegrity.org
John Sheehan, Adirondack Council, 518-441-1340, jsheehan@adirondackcouncil.org
Anneka Wisker, Moms Clean Air Force, 202-572-3308, awisker@momscleanairforce.org
Stuart Ross, CATF, 914-649-5037, sross@catf.us
Trey Pollard, Sierra Club, trey.pollard@sierraclub.org, 202-904-9187
Jessica Hodge, Earthjustice, 202-667-4500 ext. 5201, jhodge@earthjustice.org
Brook Havlik, WE ACT, 212-961-1000, ext. 320, brooke@weact.org
Frank O'Donnell, Clean Air Watch, 202-558-3527, frank@cleanairwatch.org
Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, Maryland Environmental Health Network, 443-863-5275, tamara@mdehn.org
Peter Iwanowicz, Environmental Advocates of New York, 518-462-5526 x 228, piwanowicz@eany.org


Clean Air Advocates Urge EPA to Reduce Smog in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Across the Eastern U.S.

(Washington, D.C. – April 26, 2017) A coalition of public health, conservation, and environmental groups representing millions of Americans is going to bat for the states of Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland in a fight with the Trump Administration over smog.

The three states have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for help reducing air pollution that is blowing across their borders from neighboring states – from power plants that have pollution controls, but are not running them. The pollution is adding to these downwind states’ smog problems and is putting the health of their citizens at risk.

After several months, EPA has not responded to the states’ requests. The Adirondack Council, Clean Air Task Force, Clean Air Watch, Earthjustice, Environmental Advocates of New York, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Integrity Project, Maryland Environmental Health Network, Moms Clean Air Force, Sierra Club, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice have now sent a joint letter to EPA urging the agency to do its job.

“We strongly urge you to carry out your responsibility under the statutory Good Neighbor provisions of the Clean Air Act to protect communities and families in Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland, and millions more in communities across the eastern United States,” the groups say in their letter. “Taking the common-sense and easily-implemented step of requiring the specified power plants to turn on their existing pollution controls and run them effectively every day during ozone season will help keep the millions of people in these communities from being subjected to dangerous smog levels.”

Last year, the states of Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland submitted separate petitions under section 126 of the Clean Air Act (which is part of the Act’s “Good Neighbor” provisions). The petitions asked EPA to find that specified power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia were violating those Good Neighbor provisions because their smokestack pollution contributes to unhealthy ground-level ozone levels in the three petitioning states. (Ground-level ozone is commonly known as smog.)

Every one of the power plants identified in the petitions has modern pollution controls installed that the owners are not fully operating, or is capable of running on lower-emitting fuel. The petitions ask EPA to require those power plants to run their already-installed pollution controls every day during the ozone season, which extends from May 1 through September 30.

Running those pollution controls would help Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland meet the national, health-based, air quality standards for smog. It would also help improve air quality in the Philadelphia and Washington D.C. areas, in other downwind states like New Jersey and New York, and in communities surrounding the specified power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

You can read Maryland’s full petition here – it includes a list of the power plants that are not fully running their already-installed pollution controls (two of the listed power plants are also the subject of two separate Good Neighbor petitions from Delaware). You can find additional information about the Pennsylvania power plant that is the subject of the Connecticut petition and one of the Delaware petitions here.

“Every year in the U.S., air pollution causes thousands of premature deaths, heart attacks, asthma attacks, and missed school and work days,” says the letter from the coalition. “We urge you to carry out your duties under our nation’s clean air laws.”

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The Adirondack Council is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. The Council carries out its mission and vision through research, education, advocacy and legal action. Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.

Clean Air Task Force is a nonprofit environmental organization with offices across the U.S. and in China. CATF works to help safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid global development and deployment of low carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies through research and analysis, public advocacy leadership, and partnership with the private sector. For more information, please visit www.catf.us.

Clean Air Watch is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to protecting Clean Air Laws and polices throughout the United States. We closely monitor clean air and climate policy and seek to present a public-interest perspective grounded in fact and analysis.

Earthjustice the nation’s premier nonprofit environmental law organization, wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. Because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Environmental Advocates of New York's (eany.org) mission is to protect our air, land, water, and wildlife and the health of all New Yorkers. Based in Albany, we monitor state government, evaluate proposed laws, and champion policies and practices that will ensure the responsible stewardship of our shared environment. We work to support and strengthen the efforts of New York's environmental community and to make our state a national leader.

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.

The Environmental Integrity Project is a 15-year-old nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, based in Washington D.C., dedicated to enforcing environmental laws and holding polluters and governments accountable to protect public health.

The Maryland Environmental Health Network takes action to protect human health by addressing environmental policies and practices that shape the conditions for health in Maryland. We accomplish this through broad application of an equity lens and consistently raising the question of who is most harmed by pollution and environmental degradation.

Moms Clean Air Force is a community of over one million moms and dads united against air pollution – including the urgent crisis of our changing climate – to protect our children’s health. We arm members with reliable information and solutions through online resources, articles, action tools and on-the-ground events. More here: http://www.momscleanairforce.org/

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.7 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

WE ACT for Environmental Justice (weact.org) is a Harlem-based, membership driven organization that builds healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health policies and practices. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.

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