A federal court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to respond to Connecticut’s petition regarding emissions from the Brunner Island Steam Electric Station in Pennsylvania.
U.S. District Judge Warren Eginton faulted the agency for violating the Clean Air Act by not responding to the petition within a 60-day time limit. The judge rejected the EPA’s request that it take until the end of the year to respond, adding that it much hold a public hearing within 30 days and make a final decision within 60 days.
In his ruling, Eginton wrote, “The defendants have not sustained their heavy burden of demonstrating the impossibility or infeasibility of complete review of the petition within the 60-day period accorded as appropriate by Congress.”
Connecticut submitted its petition to the EPA in June 2016 and filed its lawsuit in May 2017. Although the coal- and gas-powered plant is 175 miles from Connecticut, State Attorney General George Jepsen claimed that its emissions contributed to air pollution in Connecticut.
“Modeling and analysis have shown that interstate transport of air pollution from Brunner Island, a stationary source which is upwind of Connecticut, contributes significantly to nonattainment of (federal ozone standards),” the lawsuit states.