Carper Slams EPA’s Decision to Undercut “Good Neighbor” Requirements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a rule providing that upwind states meet their “good neighbor” requirements of the 2016 Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) for ozone-season nitrogen oxides based on the outdated 2008 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone.

“Today’s dangerous decision is another blow to downwind states like Delaware and a failure by the Trump Administration to protect families from the harmful pollution emitted from power plants in upwind states. Protecting polluters over people seems to be the new normal at EPA – an agency that is supposed to be protecting Americans’ health and our environment. EPA’s Acting Administrator Wheeler struggled to name one action the agency is taking to address air pollution and has even said he cannot calculate what the long list of clean air rollbacks would mean for increased air pollution and downwind states. Add this decision to the list.

“Downwind states like Delaware, Maryland, and New York have made it clear to EPA that the Cross-State rule isn’t cutting it. Upwind states can and must do more for downwind states to meet ozone attainment. In Delaware’s case, we are simply asking for upwind states to flip on control technologies that are already installed in the power plant facilities and paid for by consumers. Delaware is working hard to reduce harmful emissions, but more than 90 percent of our air pollution comes from upwind states’ power plants. In other words, we rely on the EPA to protect the quality of our air. For all Delawareans, especially for the 70,000 who live with asthma, I say enough is enough. EPA needs do its job and protect our health and the environment, not polluters.”

In June, EPA proposed to deny four petitions from the State of Delaware under Section 126(b) of the Clean Air Act seeking to reduce ozone pollution in Delaware emitted from power plants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. On June 22, Senator Carper submitted comments at EPA’s public hearing in Washington, D.C. on these proposed rejections. On June 27, Senator Carper led a letter from the Delaware congressional delegation to EPA then-Administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to reconsider this proposal.