NEW YORK (NEWS10) – NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman leads eight AGs in suit challenging EPA’s refusal to require upwind states to control smog pollution that blows into New York and Northeast states.
At least one in three New Yorkers breathe air with unhealthy levels of smog pollution, with some statistics say it could be as high as two in three New Yorkers (approximately 12.7 million people). The EPA’s own studies show that pollution from states upwind of New York contributes significantly to the state’s harmful levels of smog.
“Millions of New Yorkers are breathing unhealthy air as smog pollution continues to pour in from other states,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “The federal government has a fundamental responsibility to act. Yet the Trump EPA has abandoned its responsibilities – repeatedly failing to act to control smog pollution that jeopardizes New Yorkers’ health. Attorneys General will continue to act to protect those we serve.”
Specifically, Schneiderman’s suit challenges the EPA’s denial of a petition that New York and several other states filed in late 2013 for the Agency to add nine additional states to the “Ozone Transport Region.” This region consists of a group of states under the federal Clean Air Act that must act in concert to reduce smog pollution within the region.
Joining Attorney General Schneiderman in the suit are the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Congress initially created the Ozone Transport Region to help states address persistent smog problems in the northeastern United States. The region consists of 11 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, asks the court to review Administrator Scott Pruitt’s denial of the petition. The coalition will ask the court to determine that the denial is unlawful and to remove it.