EPA Intends Tougher Downwind Air-Pollution Rule in 23 States

By Daly, Matthew | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), November 18, 2015 | Go to article overview

EPA Intends Tougher Downwind Air-Pollution Rule in 23 States


Daly, Matthew, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


WASHINGTON * The Environmental Protection Agency proposed on Tuesday tougher new limits on smokestack emissions from nearly two dozen states, including Missouri and Illinois, that burden downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can't control.

At the same time, the EPA moved to remove two states South Carolina and Florida from the "good neighbor" rules, saying they don't contribute significant amounts of smog to other states.

The EPA's proposal follows a federal appeals court ruling this summer that upheld the agency's right to impose the clean-air standards, which block states from adding to air pollution in other localities. Some states and industry groups had argued that the rule was overly burdensome.

The rule applies mostly to states in the South and Midwest that contribute to soot and smog along the East Coast.

Under the EPA's proposal, states would have to comply with air quality standards for ozone, or smog, set by the administration of President George W. Bush in 2008. Current rules are based on pollution standards developed in the late 1990s.

"This update will help protect the health and lives of millions of Americans by reducing exposure to ozone pollution, which is linked to serious public health effects including reduced lung function, asthma ... and early death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement. …

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