Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced Pennsylvania has signed a petition with eight other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to require upwind states to reduce ozone emissions.
Pennsylvania is part of the ozone transport region, a group of 12 states in the Northeast that has been held to some of the country’s most stringent air pollution standards for the last decade.
The petition requests the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to subject Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia to these same federal air quality standards.
“My administration is strongly committed to protecting air quality and the health of Pennsylvania residents,” Corbett said. “Signing this petition reflects that commitment, and our hope is that the EPA will level the playing field by ensuring other states are being good neighbors by abiding to the same standards we have in Pennsylvania.”
New states subjected to the air quality rules will have to submit a state implementation plan to EPA within nine months including a strategy to control ozone-producing emissions.
“Pennsylvania, along with the other states in the Northeast, continues to work hard to attain acceptable levels of ozone emissions,” DEP Acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “Part of the solution to this problem is to have the upwind states implement equally stringent air quality controls.”
The current ozone transport region consists of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the District of Columbia and northern Virginia.EPA will make a decision on the petition within 18 months after receiving it.