NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday that a 10-state and five-city coalition filed a court brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate an air pollution reduction regulation.
Schneiderman is leading the coalition to support a request by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and a group of environmental and public health organizations for the Supreme Court to review and reverse a lower court decision that invalidated an agency rule that significantly cut interstate pollution transport.
Joining New York in the coalition are the District of Columbia, Vermont, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware, Connecticut, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Bridgeport and the mayor and city council of Baltimore.
"The health of millions of New Yorkers continues to be harmed by soot, smog and other air pollution, a large portion of which blows in from states to our south and west," Schneiderman said in a statement.
"We have no way of controlling the amount of the dirty air that flows into New York from out-of-state power plants and we need federal action to stop this pollution. Our coalition is urging the Supreme Court to review this matter and reinstate sensible and legal EPA rules that will help stem the tide of interstate pollution -- and protect New Yorkers' air and lungs."
The federal Clean Air Act places dual responsibility on the states and the EPA to improve and maintain air quality in the states and in downwind states. The law requires the EPA to address interstate pollution transport when a state's efforts to address the pollution are inadequate.
In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated the Transport Rule, a regulation that would reduce the amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide air pollution emitted by power plants in 28 states that blows into other states. The court denied petitions from New York and other states and cities in January for a rehearing.
The EPA, the American Lung Association and other organizations have petitioned the Supreme Court to review and reverse the D.C. Circuit's decision. The coalition's filing is in support of the petitions.