- Maryland environmental officials have requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency force 19 Midwest coal plants to use pollution control technology already installed at the facilities.
- Maryland wants federal officials to act on its petition before May, when the next summer demand season begins and three dozen coal units in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will be generating more power at a time when the weather will grow ozone impacts.
- The Baltimore Sun reports the Maryland Department of the Environment believes 70% of the state's ozone pollution is coming from other states. New York and several other states sued the EPA over cross-state pollution issues last month.
Federal officials continue to tweak the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), and in September released a final version aiming to reduce power plant emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) across 22 states.
With their request, Maryland officials appear to be following in the footsteps of a couple other states looking to cut down on cross-state emissions.
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule was originally proposed in 2011 as part of the Obama administration's efforts to reduce air pollution. EPA originally proposed stronger rules, but a D.C. Circuit Court judge rejected them in 2015.The rule is intended to help address the interstate transport of ozone and other pollutants typically covered by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards within individual states.
The rules are still being worked, and in September EPA issued federal implementation plans that provide summertime budgets for NOx emissions in 22 states. The plans apply only to states that failed to submit approvable state plans under the 2008 update to the CSAPR, the agency said.
Next year, the new rules will affect more than 2,800 generating units at 886 coal, gas and oil power plants. The states will be responsible for reducing ozone pollution, a main component in smog, to 75 ppb measured over eight hours.