WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to deny four petitions filed by the State of Delaware to reduce harmful emissions from power plants in upwind states:

“The fundamental mission of the EPA is to protect the health of the American people and our environment. By denying our state, and others, the ability to reduce harmful pollution from upwind states, this EPA is shirking its primary responsibility, ignoring the needs of states and, most importantly, putting the health of Delawareans at risk. This is yet another example of Mr. Pruitt continuing to put the interests of polluters ahead of people.  

“Delaware is working hard to protect its communities from dirty air, but emissions from other states account for nearly 90 percent of air pollution in the First State. New Castle County just recently received a failing grade from the American Lung Association for its air quality. And Delaware has nearly 70,000 residents living with asthma. Downwind states like Delaware depend on the EPA to make sure that every state is a good neighbor when it comes to reducing air pollution. By denying these petitions, Mr. Pruitt has made clear that this administration has little regard for the plight of downwind states like Delaware.

“I encourage all Delawareans to make their voices heard. There is nothing more basic than ensuring that our children, our families, our neighbors have clean, safe air to breathe when we step outside every day, and we must never stop fighting to protect their health.”

The four petitions filed by Delaware sought reductions in emissions of ozone-forming nitrogen dioxide (NOx) from specific power plants in the upwind states of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Maryland also submitted a petition, which was also denied. The EPA will accept comment on this proposed action for 45 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The EPA also plans to hold a public hearing on this proposal at the EPA offices in Washington, DC.