The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected a petition first submitted by the state of Connecticut in June 2016 regarding emissions from the Brunner Island Steam Electric Station in Pennsylvania.
The agency failed to respond to the petition within a 60-day time limit mandated by the Clean Air Act and the state filed a lawsuit against the agency in May 2017. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Warren Eginton rejected the EPA’s request that it be given until the end of the year to respond.
The state argued that emissions from the coal- and gas-powered plant are contributing to air pollution in Connecticut, even though the plant is 175 miles away in York Haven. In rejecting the petition, the EPA stated Connecticut failed to “demonstrate that the source emits or would emit in violation of the good neighbor provision such that it will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in Connecticut.” The EPA added that the “Brunner Island facility does not currently emit nor is it expected to emit pollution in violation of the good neighbor provision for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.”
Although the EPA’s initial refusal to act on the petition occurred during the Obama administration, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy directed his criticism of the petition denial squarely at the current White House leadership.
“Once again, the Trump administration is putting the lives of Connecticut residents at risk,” he said in a statement.