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08/04/2017

Gov. Malloy and DEEP Commissioner Klee Applaud EPA Reversal of Decision to Postpone Implementation of New Air Quality Standards

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Rob Klee are applauding an announcement by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt that he is reversing course on his decision to postpone the implementation of the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) by one year – a move that the Connecticut officials had criticized, saying that the delay would put Connecticut at an economic disadvantage against states that ignore critical air quality issues while also prolonging the risk of illness for thousands of residents in the State.

Earlier this year, Governor Malloy submitted a letter to Administrator Pruitt in which he argued that the federal agency’s reasoning for delaying the air quality standards was flawed and that it has all the information and authority it needs to act now.

“This reversal of direction bodes well for the people of Connecticut and for all those fighting for clean air in America,” Governor Malloy said. “Administrator Pruitt’s decision to delay implementation of more stringent air quality standards was ill-advised, and Connecticut was persistent in requesting him to reconsider. Delaying the implementation of the new federal air quality standards for a year would have prolonged both Connecticut’s economic disadvantage against states that ignore critical clean air improvements and the risk of illness for thousands of residents in the state. We are grateful that reason prevailed and that Administrator Pruitt reversed his decision regarding a delay in implementation.”

“Connecticut continues to suffer the public health and economic consequences of being a downwind state that receives air pollution from states to our west that burn dirtier and cheaper fuels,” Commissioner Klee said. “In fact, more than 90 percent of pollution found within Connecticut’s borders actually comes from other places. On some days, our air quality would fail to meet federal standards even if every power plant and factory within the boundaries of Connecticut ceased operations. This argues for speedier – not slower – action to implement the more stringent ozone standard. We appreciate the important actions of both Governor Malloy, who wrote to Administrator Pruitt about this issue, and our Attorney General George Jepsen, who joined in a multi-state lawsuit against EPA’s proposed delay in implementing the new standard.”

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