Del., Md. Among Eight States Petitioning EPA for Stronger Air Po - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del., Md. Petitioning EPA for Stronger Air Pollution Rules for Other Nearby States


DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Get your pollution out of our air - that's what Delaware is saying, as it leads a large batch of northeastern states in a push to get other nearby states to face stricter air quality rules.

Delaware, Maryland and six other states filed a petition Monday with the US Environmental Protection Agency.

It asks the EPA to require what they call nine "upwind" states, in the Midwest and Appalachia, to cut air pollution.

Delaware and Maryland call themselves "downwind" states.

The governors of these states say the stuff thrown into the air above "upwind" states gets carried into the "downwind" states' air. And they say the "upwind" states haven't done enough to stop that.

"On many days in Delaware, for example, a lot of our pollution is coming from other states," said DNREC Sect. Collin O'Mara. "Across the region it can be as little as 70 percent on some days, as much as 98 percent on other days, depending on the state you're in."

Gov. Jack Markell says that's unacceptable. He wants the EPA to have nearby "upwind" states join the Ozone Transport Region that Delaware and the rest of the northeast are a part of.

That would force those "upwind" states to do more to cut emissions.

"W are now at the point where we could shut off every source of emissions in the Delaware and often time not meet standards," Markell said. "That just doesn't make any sense, because all this is coming at us from other states."

There are significant questions floating around on what the EPA can do to have states be "good neighbors."  in fact the US Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday on what the EPA calls its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

The governors involved in this petition, though, say that is unrelated to their petition.
Nationally, Republicans have been opposed to cross-state air pollution regulations - calling them costly job killers.

Only Democratic governors signed on to this petition.

The EPA has 18 months to approve or disapprove the request.

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