An Associated Press article (2017-07-20) reported that Maryland Governor Lawrence “Larry” Hogan has announced plans to sue the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the federal Clean Air Act over air pollution generated by power plants in neighboring states. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Hogan had requested that the EPA require certain coal plants in mid-western states to use pollution-control technology during the months of May through September. The Maryland Department of the Environment has estimated that nearly 70 percent of Maryland’s air pollution comes from “upwind” sources located outside of the state. From the article:
Ben Grumbles, secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, notified the agency of the state’s plans in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
“We need the EPA to step in to ensure that these power plants run their pollution controls on a daily basis,” Grumbles said in an interview. “We’re in discussions with the states. We need EPA to step in and help. We have the data, and it’s clear, and the pollution is coming from these power plants.”
Maryland petitioned the EPA in November for a finding that 36 power plant units in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are emitting air pollution affecting the state’s air quality in violation of the law known as the “good neighbor provision.” In January, the EPA issued a six-month extension to act, setting a July 15 deadline that has expired without required EPA action.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a conservation group, indicated it also planned to sue the EPA over the issue. The foundation noted that the state had forecast a Code Red Air Quality Alert on Thursday for Baltimore.
“We join and wholeheartedly support Maryland in its effort to protect the health of its residents and the Chesapeake Bay against upwind, out-of-state power plants which choose to make higher profits rather than turn on their pollution controls during hot summer months,” said Jon Mueller, vice president of litigation at the foundation.