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Attorney General William Tong

01/31/2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG, SIX STATES SUE TRUMP ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY FOR FAILURE TO REGULATE INTERSTATE SMOG POLLUTION

Suit Seeks To Force EPA To Comply With The Clean Air Act, Protect Connecticut Residents' Health By Requiring Sources Of Smog Pollution In Upwind States To Further Cut Emissions

Attorney General William Tong today joined six states and the City of New York in filing a lawsuit aimed at forcing the Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to comply with federal law by requiring further controls on smog pollution that blows into Connecticut and other states.

The coalition is challenging the Trump EPA’s 2018 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule “Close-Out” for failing to require any further control of smog pollution in states upwind of Connecticut – even though smog’s serious, on-going health threat in Connecticut is largely due to the interstate transport of ozone pollution.

"Connecticut sits at the end of the tailpipe of the nation's exhaust fumes, with severe consequences for public health. States like Connecticut who are downwind of some of our country's heaviest polluters need the protection of strong interstate ozone pollution regulation. The Trump EPA's failure to comply with the Clean Air Act violates federal law and endangers the health of Connecticut families," said Attorney General William Tong.

According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, more than 90 percent of ozone levels in southwest Connecticut and more than 80 percent of ozone levels in some remaining parts of the state result from pollution that originates in areas located out of Connecticut’s jurisdiction and control. Readings at Connecticut air monitoring stations consistently show that that air entering Connecticut already exceeds ozone standards on days when quality here fails to meet federal standards, subjecting several million Connecticut residents to unhealthy levels of air pollution.

Connecticut is constantly challenged to meet air quality standards. Despite all of our efforts to minimize pollution within our borders, out of state pollution still significantly contributes to the poor quality of our air. Connecticut must rely on other states to develop and implement plans to reduce air pollution, and upon EPA to act as a backstop when they fail to do so, as EPA is required to do under the Clean Air Act. EPA has failed in its responsibility with this CSAPR Close-Out decision.

Joining Attorney General Tong in the coalition led by New York Attorney General Letitia James are the attorneys general of Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, and the City of New York.

Assistant Attorney General Jill Lacedonia and Assistant Attorney General Matt Levine, Head of the Environment Department, assisted the Attorney General in this matter.

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