New York Pushes Trump’s EPA on Unhealthy Air From Upwind States

(Bloomberg) -- New York and New Jersey asked a judge to let them join a lawsuit that seeks to force the Trump administration to cut pollution blowing into the region from upwind states that they say is largely responsible for unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone, or smog.

The states, which strictly control air quality, are seeking to intervene in a suit filed earlier by Maryland and Delaware accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of wrongfully refusing to rein in pollution from upwind states, according to a federal appeals court filing in the District of Columbia.

About 9.4 million people in New York, or about half the state’s population, are breathing unhealthy air due to smog, the state said, citing the American Lung Association’s 2018 “State of the Air” report. The EPA is required under the Clean Air Act to help New York and other states address pollution blowing in from upwind states, it said.

The Clean Air Act requires states to control emissions that cross state lines and prevent neighboring areas from meeting national air quality standards for ozone and other pollutants. Among upwind states are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

“The Trump administration has flouted even their most basic legal obligations to protect public health and our environment,” New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement.

EPA spokeswoman Tayler Covington didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the two states’ effort to intervene in the suit.

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