ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 9, 2002) - Governor Parris N. Glendening and Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. today announced that Maryland will join New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine to intervene in lawsuits that threaten to delay or derail U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules designed to reduce the transport of air pollution into Maryland and other Northeast states. The lawsuits are the latest challenge by utility and other industry groups in what has been a long history of litigation involving the EPA rules. The Governor released the following statement concerning the intervention:
“Today, Maryland is joining with our fellow Northeastern states to ensure that the regulations established by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1998 to protect us from Nitrogen Oxide emissions are fully implemented by the year 2004. These regulations are being challenged by an industry that for decades has polluted our air, ravaged our natural resources and endangered our quality of life. I commend New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for his leadership on this issue and thank Attorney General Joe Curran for his work on behalf of the citizens of Maryland.”
“While we stand with the EPA at the moment, our interests are separate and independent of the agency. Maryland will continue to watch the EPA and if it begins to diverge from the path of full implementation and enforcement by 2004, we will act accordingly. We stand resolute in our commitment to protecting the public health of Marylanders, the natural resources of our State and the high quality of life we enjoy.”
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.:
“Sadly, ninety percent of Marylanders live in ozone nonattainment areas as graphically illustrated by the number of code red ozone days that have occurred so far this summer. By participating in this lawsuit, Maryland hopes to prevent any further delays in the implementation of these crucial regulations.”
Sue Brown, Executive Director, Maryland League of Conservation Voters:
“We couldn’t be more pleased that Maryland is joining this lawsuit. We need to ensure that the millions of Americans living downwind of these polluting plants are protected from the harmful emissions discharged every day.”
The rulemaking at issue was the outgrowth of litigation which began during the Clinton Administration in which the utility industry and some states challenged the EPA’s Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) regulations which required 22 states east of the Mississippi to reduce NOx emissions from utilities and other major industrial sources.