In an effort to protect the state's environment, particularly the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has appealed a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision that denies Maryland's efforts to reduce air pollution from 19 out-of-state power plants, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said Thursday.
The foundation is supporting the state's legal fight to force the EPA to maintain prerogatives under the Clean Air Act that address pollution that crosses state lines. The appeal is being sought through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Specifically, the appeal seeks to reduce nitrogen oxide that drifts into Maryland from states in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, the foundation said. The gas creates smog and can cause health issues for state residents, wildlife, and the environment.
The EPA denied five petitions that asked the agency to uphold stricter emissions standards, the foundation said.
“Only EPA can enforce the Clean Air Act to prevent the out-of-state power plants from spewing harmful pollution that ultimately settles in the Bay and its watershed," said John Mueller, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Vice President of Litigation. "CBF believes states such as Maryland must continue to contest EPA’s recent policy of supporting big business interests at the expense of the environment and human health.”