Governor Carney, Congressional Delegation Oppose Trump Administration on Clean Air Ruling

WILMINGTON, Del.Governor John Carney, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester issued the following statements on the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny a petition by Delaware and seven other northeastern states to expand the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) to limit air pollution. The petition asked the EPA to add eight additional states to the OTR, along with portions of Virginia. The petition was based on a provision in the Clean Air Act designed to hold states accountable for cross-border air pollution.

“Our air quality is significantly impacted by pollution traveling downwind from other states, and we sought, in this petition, to work with neighbor states to equitably address that pollution and its effects on Delaware,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans deserve clean air and, simply put, this disappointing decision by the EPA to deny expansion of the Ozone Transport Region will limit our ability to deliver on that promise. The federal government, through the EPA, must act to curb air pollution traveling across state borders, and we will continue to take action that will underscore that point to the Trump Administration.”

“It is a measurable fact that over 90 percent of Delaware’s air pollution comes from upwind states. EPA’s decision to deny expansion of the Ozone Transport Region means it will be even harder for Delaware to hold its neighbors accountable for the air pollution coming across our borders,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Since taking the reins at EPA, Scott Pruitt has continually said the states know best when it comes to cleaning up their air and water. But this decision flies in the face of that talking point, denying our reasonable request to work with our neighbors to address ozone pollution. When it comes to protecting Delawareans from other states’ pollution, EPA hasn’t done its job and now, it’s not even allowing states to work together to pick up the slack.”

“I am disappointed that EPA chose to deny this petition to expand the OTR,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “Delaware air quality depends heavily on the behavior of our neighbors, and unfortunately we are the recipients of cross-border pollution from states outside the OTR that contribute to high ozone levels in Delaware. I hope that EPA will take actions soon to demonstrate that they are working to address ozone transport.”

“By denying the petition to expand the Ozone Transport Region, the EPA is making it more difficult for Delaware to work with its neighbors on ozone transport and improved air quality,” said U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “Given the significant impact of air pollution in Delaware that originates in other states, it’s crucial that EPA work with regional stakeholders in a coordinated and fair manner to deliver tangible action that is sorely needed.”