(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is joining Earthjustice and others to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to reduce interstate air pollution. In December 2018, EPA issued a final rule that failed to adopt any measures to reduce interstate air pollution contributing to ongoing violations of the 2008 ozone air quality standard in several Eastern states.
Coal-burning power plants and other fossil fuel combustion sources in the eastern half of the U.S. collectively emit hundreds-of-thousands of tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) air pollution each year. As it moves through the atmosphere, NOx reacts with sunlight and volatile organic compounds to form ozone which, at ground level, harms human health especially those with respiratory illnesses like asthma. This NOx pollution also contributes roughly one-third of the nitrogen pollution to the region’s rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.
Other organizations participating in the suit include the Sierra Club, Downwinders at Risk, and the Appalachian Mountain Club. The suit has been filed as Downwinders at Risk v. EPA. After the lawsuit was filed, Jon Mueller, CBF Vice President for Litigation, issued this statement.
"The Clean Air Act requires EPA to limit air pollution crossing state lines. By ignoring the 'good neighbor' provision of the Clean Air Act, EPA is exacerbating climate change, harming human health, and damaging water quality. This is yet another example of the agency choosing to benefit polluters over clean air, clean water, and human health."