Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (January 8, 2002) -- Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Secretary Jane T. Nishida issued the following statement of support in reference to today’s stance taken by nine attorneys general against the potential softening of the federal Clean Air Act.

“Most Maryland industries, utilities and power plants have done the right thing by installing required pollution controls when they modified or upgraded their facilities,” Secretary Nishida said. “But facilities elsewhere that have a direct impact on Maryland air quality have not, and this inequity cannot continue. Under the direction of Governor Glendening, Maryland has made strides working on air pollution as a regional issue. Tinkering with or repealing the new source review portion of the Clean Air Act could halt, if not wipe out our progress in this regard.”

It has been widely reported that the Bush administration will shortly announce plans to significantly weaken the Clean Air Act of 1970, enforcement of which is widely credited with improving air quality around the nation.
At a Washington, D.C. news conference this morning, the attorneys general of Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York urged the Bush administration to work with northeastern states in seeking reductions in power plant air pollution instead of allowing a rollback in air quality protections. At the news conference they urged the Bush administration not to undermine ongoing state-federal efforts to reduce power plant pollution that causes smog, a primary component of ground level ozone, acid rain and which have been shown to cause respiratory disease, and in some cases, premature death.

For more information on how MDE is working to keep Maryland’s air clean and healthy, visit the state’s air quality website online at:
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr.’s comments on the issue can be found online at: or by calling Sean Caine at (410) 576-6357.