Daniel, a 16-year-old St. Elizabeth High School student, describes what severe asthma sufferers endure in Delaware. Karl Baker/THE NEWS JOURNAL
Delaware’s latest attempt to reduce air pollution in the First State by seeking emissions reductions from power plants in upwind states will be denied, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday.
The emissions directly affect Delaware’s air quality and pollution levels, as well as plague those suffering from asthma, according to environmental experts and Delaware officials.
“The Agency has concluded that neither Delaware nor Maryland has met their burden to demonstrate that the sources they named emit or would emit ozone forming pollutants at levels that violate the Clean Air Act’s good neighbor provision for the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards,” the EPA said in a statement Friday, as reported by the Associated Press.
The petitions filed by Delaware specifically focused on reducing emissions of ozone-forming nitrogen dioxide from five power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
U.S. Senator Tom Carper spoke out Friday against the EPA’s plan to deny these petitions, noting that emissions from other states account for nearly 90 percent of air pollution here in Delaware.
Sen. Tom Carper spoke out against the EPA’s decision Friday, saying the denial showed that the agency did not care about its mission to protect the needs of states and those living within them.
These emissions and the subsequent formation of ozone also greatly affect those suffering from asthma in the summertime, when hot, sunny conditions worsen air quality.
"The fundamental mission of the EPA is to protect the health of the American people and our environment," Carper said in a statement. "By denying our state, and others, the ability to reduce harmful pollution from upwind states, this EPA is shirking its primary responsibility, ignoring the needs of states and, most importantly, putting the health of Delawareans at risk."
The EPA will accept comment on this proposed action for 45 days after it is officially published in the Federal Register, said Carper, who serves as the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. The EPA also plans to hold a public hearing on this proposal at the EPA offices in Washington, D.C.
"There is nothing more basic than ensuring that our children, our families, our neighbors have clean, safe air to breathe when we step outside every day," Carper said, urging Delawareans to speak out against the denial. "We must never stop fighting to protect their health."
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