January 02, 2018
Eight states in the Northeast, including Pennsylvania and Delaware, are suing the Environmental Protection Agency for not enforcing stricter pollution policies in midwestern and southern states.
New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont are the other states petitioning against the EPA.
In 2013, Northeast states cited the Clean Air Act in asking the EPA to include several midwestern and southern states in the Ozone Transport Region. The current Ozone Transport Commission, which includes Northeast states from Virginia to Maine, works on reducing air pollution throughout the region and advising the EPA as needed.
The EPA denied this request in November. Now, petitioning states persist, claiming polluted air from those areas is blowing into the Northeast, including Pennsylvania and Delaware. New Jersey is not among the petitioners.
“Pennsylvania is what’s known as a downwind state, so our citizens are forced to breathe unhealthy air caused by smog and other emissions from upwind states,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told WHYY.
“Nearest to us, those upwind states would be Ohio and West Virginia, two of our border states.”
In Philadelphia, a 2016 study showed that the city did not live up to EPA pollution or ozone regulations. According to the New York University report, up to 126 deaths annually could be prevented if the city met those standards.