EDF “Strongly Supports” Proposal to Strengthen Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, Protect Millions from Smog-Forming Coal-Plant Smokestack Pollution

June 22, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – June 22, 2022) Environmental Defense Fund is urging EPA to update and strengthen the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in order to protect people and communities in downwind states from smog-forming coal plant smokestack and industrial pollution that blows across their borders.

EDF filed comments with EPA yesterday in support of a proposal that would reduce the nitrogen oxides pollution from power plants and industrial sources in upwind states that significantly contributes to unhealthy smog for neighboring states. The proposal is required under the “good neighbor” protections of the Clean Air Act.

“We strongly support EPA’s proposal,” said Michael Panfil, EDF’s Senior Director of Climate Risk and Clean Power. “Downwind states are taking important measures to reduce dangerous smog within their borders, but the coal plant smokestack pollution from other states contributes to smog and leaves millions of people at risk. EPA’s proposal offers a well-designed program to ensure people are protected from upwind coal plant smokestacks that do not have modern pollution controls or are not effectively operating their pollution controls. Finalizing this proposal will protect people’s lives and health, ensure millions can breathe easier, and will help all states be good neighbors.”

The proposal would reduce ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog. It is a caustic pollutant that aggravates asthma, is linked to a wide array of heart and lung diseases and can cause premature deaths. It is especially harmful for children, seniors, people with asthma and other lung problems, and outdoor workers.

EDF, Moms Clean Air Force and M.J. Bradley & Associates (now ERM) created an interactive map with detailed information about the fossil fuel-fired power plants that are the source of smog-forming nitrogen oxides pollution around the country. People can search the map – available here – to learn about high-polluting plants near their communities.

You can read EDF’s comments here. EDF also submitted joint comments with 16 other health, environmental and community groups in support of EPA’s good neighbor proposal.

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