June 24, 2013
Statement of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel C. Esty Concerning U.S. Supreme Court Agreeing to Hear Case on Cross-State Air Pollution Rule
DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty today issued the following statement concerning the U.S. Supreme Court granting a request from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review a lower court decision that invalidated a rule designed to regulate air pollution that crosses state lines.
As a result of this action, the Supreme Court will now review the August 2012 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that overturned the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule CSAPR). This rule set requirements for cleanup of air pollution in 28 states that blows downwind and cause air quality issues in other states, including Connecticut.
“The Supreme Court action today opens the door to the resolution of a problem that has long plagued our state – pollution from upwind states being carried into Connecticut by prevailing winds.
“This pollution – which results largely from the burning of coal to generate electricity – impacts the quality of the air we breathe in our state, which has serious consequences for the health of our residents. By using dirtier fuels to generate electricity, the upwind states also benefit from cheap power, which puts Connecticut at a competitive disadvantage, hurting our economy and costing us jobs.
“We are hopeful that after reviewing the facts of the case and assessing the damage caused by the transport of pollution into our state, the Supreme Court will overturn the lower court ruling, which can trigger real solutions to this issue.”