On January 11, U.S. EPA proposed to deny a petition submitted by the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont under section 176A(a) of the Clean Air Act (CAA).
The petition requests that the EPA add to the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, and the portion of Virginia currently not within the OTR, and alleges that these states significantly contribute to violations of the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in the OTR. EPA proposes to deny the CAA section 176A petition because EPA believes that the CAA provides other, more effective means of addressing the impact of interstate ozone transport on the states within the OTR with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS
Maryland officials called the decision disappointing. “Maryland will continue to insist on more environmental progress by our upwind partner states,” said Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, in a comment given to The Baltimore Sun. “We are committed to using all available and appropriate tools.”
EPA’s tentative denial will now be put forward for a 30-day public comment period before the decision is made final. For more information, see this EPA Fact Sheet.