Delaware threatens to sue EPA over out-of-state air pollution

Delaware threatens to sue EPA over out-of-state air pollution
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Delaware’s state government is threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not approving four requests to crack down on out-of-state air pollution.

The state’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control says that four specific power plants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia are contributing to ozone pollution in Delaware, and that the EPA has a responsibility under the Clean Air Act to force them to better control their pollution.

“The Clean Air Act entitles Delaware to relief from upwind pollution and the remedy we are seeking is reasonable and within EPA’s authority and responsibility to grant,” Gov. John Carney (D) said in a statement.

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“Delawareans deserve clean air, but our air quality is significantly impacted by pollution traveling downwind from other states. We are simply asking that the EPA require these power plants that pollute Delaware’s air to run their existing pollution control equipment when the plants are in operation.”

Delaware officials filed four petitions with the EPA in 2016 — one for each power plant — asking the agency to take action under the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act.

The EPA extended its deadlines to respond to the petitions by six months, but did not decide whether to grant or deny them.

Delaware’s official notices of intent to sue, which it said Tuesday that it will send, are required 60 days before it can file the actual lawsuits.

Multiple states have sued the EPA under the Trump administration to get it to take action against out-of-state polluting facilities.

Last week, a group of northeastern states filed a lawsuit over the EPA’s denial of their petition under a separate Clean Air Act section, and Maryland sued over specific out-of-state plants earlier last year.