EPA to deny Maryland, Delaware petitions against emissions

June 1, 2018 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it plans to deny Maryland and Delaware petitions seeking emissions reductions from power plants in five upwind states.

The petitions sought to reduce emissions of ozone-forming nitrogen dioxide from power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“The Agency has concluded that neither Delaware nor Maryland has met their burden to demonstrate that the sources they named emit or would emit ozone forming pollutants at levels that violate the Clean Air Act’s good neighbor provision for the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards,” the EPA said in a statement.

The federal agency said it will accept comment on the proposed action for 45 days, and a public hearing will be held in Washington.

Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration strongly disagrees with the proposed denial.

“We will testify in opposition to the proposal and use all available tools, including litigation, to ensure we can keep our commitment to upholding aggressive air quality standards and protecting the Chesapeake Bay,” Grumbles said in a statement.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said it’s “clear and undeniable” that emissions from the power plants are polluting Maryland’s air and violate the law.

“Requiring power plants to implement commonsense standards to reduce harmful emissions is the responsibility of the EPA,” Frosh said. “Time and time again, it has failed to do its job.”

Maryland filed its petition in 2016, seeking to require 36 power plants in upwind states to run their air pollution controls more in the summer to reduce emissions.