Connecticut has renewed its demand that the federal government force western and southern states to stop sending air pollution here, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday he expects the state will have to go to court to force them to comply.
“The failure of upwind states to make investments needed to operate power plants and industrial facilities in an efficient and lean manner… is exacting a steep price on the health of both he people and the economy of my state,” Malloy said.
Connecticut and eight other states in the northeast are presenting testimony at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C., asking the EPA to take strong action to stop the pollution. The EPA under President Obama’s administration last year rejected a petition from Connecticut and its neighboring states on this issue.
Malloy admitted this latest push isn’t likely to succeed given President Donald Trump’s desire to reduce air pollution regulations and encourage the use of more fossil fuels like coal and oil, exactly the fuels those dirty Midwestern and Southern plants are now using.
Connecticut’s governor said he thinks it is “entirely possible” that the state will file a federal lawsuit within the next 12 months to force the EPA to take action against those polluting states. Malloy also said he believes a Connecticut lawsuit would stand a chance of success even in a Trump-oriented, conservative U.S. Supreme Court.
“That’s not an impossible win,” Malloy said.
Robert Klee, commissioner of this state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, is scheduled to present Connecticut’s case to the EPA at Thursday’s hearing. Malloy said a final rejection by the federal agency would be the last step before Connecticut and other northeastern states head to court.
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