Three eastern states recently sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for unlawfully allowing pollution from other states to contaminate their air.
A December 5, 2019 op-ed in Bloomberg Environment co-authored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health research fellow Lucas Henneman argued that the states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut—were right to file the lawsuit. The suit contends that the EPA is not following the Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision, which requires that the agency address interstate air pollution.
Henneman and co-author Corwin Zigler of the University of Texas wrote that evidence and models show that emissions from upwind states such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky have been contributing substantially more pollution to the eastern states than coal power plants and other sources located within the states themselves.
The authors wrote that “eastern states are correct to argue that the agency [EPA] is not upholding its mandate to protect human and environmental health. And everyone breathing air on the East Coast suffers the consequences every day.”