North Carolina Petitions EPA to Force Neighboring States to Clean Up Air

North Carolina can’t reach Clean Air Act targets on its own, so the feds need to force power plants in 13 neighboring states to sharply cut their emissions, state officials said yesterday in a petition filed with the U.S. EPA. North Carolina has taken drastic steps to improve its air with its Clean Smokestacks Act, said state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D), “but dirty air doesn’t respect state borders.” The state faces substantial financial penalties if it does not meet strict ozone limits by an April 15 deadline. The EPA has accepted similar petitions before, from northeast states, so North Carolina officials are hopeful. An EPA spokesperson said the agency was addressing the problem with its upcoming interstate air quality rule, which would gradually tighten emission limits through 2015. Cooper expressed hope that the EPA would nonetheless accept his faster-acting petition.