The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a federal plan that would restrict smokestack emissions from power plants and other industrial sources that burden downwind areas with air pollution they can't control.
The plan announced on Friday is intended to help more than two dozen states meet "good neighbor" obligations under the federal Clean Air Act. States that contribute to ground-level ozone, or smog, are required to submit plans ensuring that power plants and other industrial sites don't contribute significantly to air pollution in other states.
In states that have not submitted a plan, or where EPA disapproves, the federal plan would take effect to ensure downwind states are protected.
In a statement, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said, “Air pollution doesn’t stop at the state line.” Regan said that the plan “will help our state partners meet air quality health standards, saving lives and improving public health in smog-affected communities across the United States.”
A rule set by the EPA in 2015 aims to block states from being able to add ozone pollution in other areas outside of that local area, the Associated Press reported.
Graham McCahan, a senior attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund said that the cross-state pollution rule is meant to protect millions of Americans across the Eastern U.S. from smog that blows across state lines and then permeates their communities."