The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), Chesapeake PSR and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) filed a lawsuit this week against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to timely respond to our petition requesting that EPA object to the proposed air pollution permit issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to Raven Power Fort Smallwood, LLC for the Fort Smallwood Complex. The Fort Smallwood Complex consists of the Brandon Shores and Wagner coal-fired power plants in northern Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Under federal law, EPA must respond to petitions within 60 days.
The permit is problematic because it would not require monitoring sufficient to assure compliance with limits for controlling visible emissions and particulate matter that can aggravate asthma and, in its smallest fraction, can contribute to premature mortality from heart and lung disease.
This lawsuit is part of an effort by Chesapeake PSR and other groups to take specific actions to address pollution from power plants that burn coal and other fossil fuels. Burning coal still accounts for about 40 percent of the electricity generation in Maryland. In addition to our concerns regarding the effects of the pollution itself, EPA’s refusal to respond to this petition within 60 days as required by law increases our concern that EPA will not act as a backstop to efforts by Maryland to ease air quality requirements on coal-fired power plants, absent intervention by the federal courts.
Read about the other lawsuit Chesapeake PSR joined suing EPA, challenging a Trump administration effort to undermine critical protections for cleaning up toxic water pollution from coal-fired power plant waste.
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