WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Senator Chris Van Hollen, and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, John K. Delaney, Anthony G. Brown and Jamie Raskin, released the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its denial of Maryland’s Clean Air Act 126(b) petition to reduce harmful emissions from power plants in upwind states. Maryland’s full Congressional delegation had urged the EPA to reconsider its denial of Maryland’s petition and take action to provide relief against out-of-state air pollution.
“Regrettably, the EPA has denied the petition from Maryland requesting reductions in emissions of ozone-forming nitrogen dioxide from 36 power plants in 5 upwind states—Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Today’s decision is a dereliction of duty that fails to protect Marylanders from the harmful pollution emitted from power plants in upwind states. These emissions create dangerous ground-level ozone pollution that make it harder for Maryland to protect vulnerable populations, like our children and older adults. The EPA fails to recognize that pollution does not stop at state border lines and fails to ensure that all states are good neighbors.
“For decades, Maryland has been working hard to reduce harmful emissions that contribute to its ozone problem. Marylanders have a right to breathe healthy air, which means upwind, polluting states must be good neighbors, every day. EPA must hold these states accountable for these harmful emissions, and Maryland is simply asking their neighbors to run already-installed pollution control technology in order to better protect our residents. We urge the state to take all measures possible to appeal and overturn this decision.”