(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Jon Mueller, Vice President of Litigation at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued this statement after Maryland filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to respond to the state's petition for action against 19 upwind power plants. CBF and partners plan to file a similar lawsuit on this issue in the coming weeks.
The Baltimore area had 14 days of Code Orange Air Quality Alerts this summer, meaning unhealthy air pollution for children, seniors, and other sensitive individuals.
"We applaud and support Maryland in this effort to force EPA to act against out-of-state power plants whose emissions worsen Marylanders' health problems, and have a negative impact on Maryland waters.
"For years, Maryland has taken steps to reduce air pollution from power plants and vehicles operating within the state. But about 70 percent of the Baltimore area ozone problem comes from upwind sources of air pollution. EPA has the authority, and the responsibility, to address these upwind sources, but has failed to even respond to Maryland's 'good neighbor' petition, which requests relief from the upwind air pollution.
"Nineteen upwind power plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana already have pollution controls installed, but they simply decide not to use them some days. Living downwind of those plants, Marylanders suffer. In 2014, these plants earned an extra $24 million in profits by not turning on the technology."