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Maryland is Taking the EPA to Court Over Coal Plant Emissions


Maryland officials have announced plans to appeal an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to deny the state’s efforts to reduce emissions from 36 power plants in five upwind states.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said the EPA’s decision is “wrong” and if the ruling isallowed to stand, “the air Marylanders breathe will be dirtier, especially on the hottest days of the summer — through no fault of ours,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

The news site notes that most of the state’s congressional delegation — Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Reps. Steny Hoyer, Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, John Delaney, Anthony Brown and Jamie Raskin — released a statement in support of the legal action. They urged state officials to “take all measures possible to appeal and overturn this decision.”

According to the news site, Maryland submitted a petition, asking the EPA to crack down on 19 different coal plants. The state says the plants have installed technology to scrub their emissions ofharmful pollutants, but that they don’t use it enough on hot days, when air quality is often worst.

Maryland requires that plants within its borders run their pollution-control technology more often, but officials estimate that only about 30% of smog that blankets the region on summer days comes from inside the state.

The state is mainly concerned about levels of nitrogen oxides in the air, substances that can trigger or worsen respiratory problems, create ozone pollution and throw off the ecology of Chesapeake Bay waterways.



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