FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Connecticut is joining a multi-state action to require upwind states to reduce air pollution that is carried to the Northeast, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Monday.
With the announcement, Malloy said he is "sending a powerful message to upwind states: Stop dumping your air pollution on us – it’s time to clean up your act," according to a release.
The initiative would "require upwind states to our south and west to reduce pollution that is carried here by prevailing winds – a move aimed at better protecting the health of our residents and leveling the playing field for our businesses," according to the release.
“Connecticut is tired of serving as the tailpipe of America,” Malloy said in the release. “We’re paying a steep public health and economic price for the failure of upwind states to make investments needed to operate power plants and industrial facilities in a clean and efficient manner. Now is the ideal time to get the upwind polluters to take action.”
The multi-state action includes a petition seeking commitments from the upwind states to protect the health of downwind residents. The petition asks the Environmental Protection Agency to require the nine upwind states to join in the Ozone Transport Region. Under the federal Clean Air Act, states in the OTR "have to take actions consistent with the air pollution efforts of the downwind states through use of readily available control technologies and reliance on cleaner fuels to generate power," according to the release.
States joining Connecticut in filing the petition are Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. The upwind states are Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
“Over the last several decades Connecticut has done more than its fair share to reduce our pollution levels and we have most recently expanded our horizons to include energy efficiency, green energy, and zero emissions vehicles as new ways to improve both our environment and our economy,” Commissioner Daniel C. Esty of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said in the release.
“Yet, at the same time, upwind states have failed to take even the most basic steps that we took long ago. They now have the opportunity to step up and do what’s right.”