Maryland asks EPA to crack down on pollution from Midwest coal plants

post-top-EPA-logoBALTIMORE, MD — “Maryland environmental regulators are asking their federal counterparts to crack down on 19 coal plants in five other states whose emissions — carried hundreds of miles by the wind — make the air here unhealthy to breathe on hot summer days.

The plants have spent billions of dollars on technology to reduce pollution, but according to Maryland officials, they don’t use it every day during the summer, when heat and sunshine cause the pollutant ozone to form and make air quality its worst.

 Ben Grumbles, the state’s environment secretary, is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to step in before this summer.

‘We’re saying to EPA we know for a fact those power plants have the existing control technologies, they have installed them, but for whatever reason, they’re not running them every day during the ozone season,’ Grumbles said. ‘That is one very easy way for downwind states like Maryland to benefit.’

Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have long pressured federal officials and Midwest states to reduce the pollution that blows eastward.

…Maryland’s petition concerns 36 coal-fired units at 19 plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Grumbles said the state has been tracking data and air pollution models for the past three years to learn that efforts to cut pollution have fallen short of their potential.”

— Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

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