ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Two groups have gone to court to try to implement clean-air regulations they say are being blocked by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration.

The Sierra Club and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility filed a lawsuit Thursday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. They argue that the regulations against smog would protect the public by reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants.

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The Maryland Department of the Environment adopted the regulations days before Hogan, a Republican, took office. The plaintiffs say Hogan tossed out the regulations when he took office and the administration unlawfully blocked publication of them in the Maryland Register.

A Maryland attorney general’s opinion in December expressed the view that the governor or state agency could withdraw notice of adoption of regulations before they are published in the Maryland Register and stop proposed regulations from taking effect.

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Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles says the administration is taking new clear air steps that will be equal to or greater than those proposed earlier.

He says the department is committed to winning the battle against smog “in the smartest and fairest way possible.”

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