Thursday, September 28, 2017

Maryland sues EPA over air pollution from out-of-state power plants

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency over air pollution from out-of-state power plants that he says is hurting Maryland. The move is an attempt to force the EPA to act. The agency did not respond to his November 2016 petition or his threat in July to file suit because officials missed the deadline to respond to the petition, Timothy Cama reports for The Hill.

"My office has filed suit because the EPA and Administrator Pruitt have failed to stop these violations, ignoring our request to require those power plants to comply with the Clean Air Act," Frosh said in a statement. "This federal law is supposed to protect everyone against the harm of breathing polluted air, so the federal government must ensure that power plants everywhere be held accountable."

"The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Maryland, cites research and EPA data to argue that 36 power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are violating the 'good neighbor' provision of the Clean Air Act by not using pollution control technology that is already installed," Cama reports. The air pollution drifts into Maryland and dirties up the air there, Frosh argued.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has taken a harder line on lawsuits like Frosh's than his Obama-era predecessors, criticizing them as "sue and settle" cases.

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