Petition to US EPA for addition of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North
Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and W. Virginia to Ozone Transport Region
Eight Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States – including Delaware – have petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require upwind states to reduce air pollution generated within their borders, which causes asthma attacks, respiratory disease, and other public health problems downwind.
The multi-state action is aimed at requiring nine upwind states – Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia – to be a ‘good neighbor’ by reducing air pollution emissions that are carried by prevailing winds and contribute to the formation of ozone to the north and east. The petition seeks long-overdue commitments from the upwind states to protect the health of downwind residents and to level the playing field for businesses.
The petition asks EPA to require the nine upwind states to join in what is known as the “Ozone Transport Region” (OTR). Under the federal Clean Air Act, states added to the OTR would have to take actions to limit air pollution consistent with the efforts of the downwind states through the use of readily available control technologies and reliance on cleaner fuels to generate power.
States who filed the petition on December 9, 2013 – all current members of the OTR – are: Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Under Section 176A of the federal Clean Air Act, states can petition the EPA to add any state to an air quality region such as the OTR if there is reason to believe it is the source of pollution-causing violations of air quality standards elsewhere. The EPA Administrator is required to approve or disapprove such a petition within 18 months.
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