All We Are Is Soot in the Wind
A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., yesterday sided mostly with the U.S. EPA and backed an order forcing factories and power plants in the Midwest and the South to reduce their emissions. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania petitioned the EPA in 1997 to order hundreds of polluters in upwind states to cut their emissions, claiming that national standards for air quality in the Northeastern states couldn’t otherwise be met. The EPA acted on the four states’ concerns in 1999, and the court yesterday agreed with the agency that the upwind states “contribute significantly” to pollution problems in the Northeast. In an odd twist, though, the court included New York and Pennsylvania as among the states responsible for some downwind pollution.