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PA EPA, EIGHT NORTHEASTERN STATES SIGN AGREEMENT ON LONG RANGE TRANSPORT OF AIR POLLUTION

Release Date: 12/19/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1997

EPA, EIGHT NORTHEASTERN STATES SIGN
AGREEMENT ON LONG RANGE TRANSPORT OF AIR POLLUTION

EPA and eight northeastern states today agreed to a schedule for the Agency to take action on the state petitions to reduce long-range transport of smog-forming emissions in the eastern U.S. The Memorandum of Agreement requires EPA to take final action on the petitions by as early as April 1999, but no later than May 2000. In August, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Vermont petitioned EPA under Section 126 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from various utilities and other sources throughout the eastern U.S., but primarily in the midwest and southeast, on the grounds that these emissions were exacerbating ground-level ozone (smog) problems in the northeast (NOx is a prime ingredient in the formation of smog). In a related action under Section 110 of the CAA, EPA proposed on Nov. 7 that 22 states and the District of Columbia revise their clean air plans to reduce NOx emissions contributing to long-range transport problems. The Section 126 petitions and Section 110 proposal are basically complementary in that they are both designed to reduce long-range transport of NOx emissions, but they are governed by a different set of timetables and procedures under the CAA. Today’s Memorandum of Agreement harmonizes the timetables: EPA and the eight states agree to an overall schedule designed to ensure that EPA will take timely action on the states’s 126 petitions, while recognizing that the Agency will move ahead to address regional transport of ozone under the Section 110 proposal. The agreement and an accompanying fact sheet can be downloaded immediately from the EPA Office of Air and Radiation website on the Internet, under: http://www.epa.gov/airlinks. For further technical information, contact Jeff Clark of EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at 919-541-5557, or e-mail him at: clark.jeffrey@epamail.epa.gov.


R-176 ###