BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to hold other states accountable for pollution that blows into the region, creating summertime smog.

According to our media partners at The Baltimore Sun, Maryland joins seven other states including Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont  in a lawsuit filed last week appealing the Trump Administration’s decision to not expand the number of states in the Ozone Transport Region.

The Ozone Transport Region coordinates efforts to reduce air pollution. Maryland and most of the other states involved in the lawsuit formally petitioned the EPA to require nine “upwind” states to join the Ozone Transport Region. These states include Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

When the EPA made its decision not to expand the ozone region official in November, the agency said there are other ways under the Clean Air Act to reduce air pollution in the additional states.

Maryland environmental officials estimate that up to 70 percent of the air pollution in the state blows in from other states.  This includes ground-level ozone, also known as smog. Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh says the EPA’s decision not to expand the ozone region is another example of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s favoritism for businesses over the health of people who must breathe polluted air.

The hearing for Maryland is planned for 1 p.m.  on January 11 in the Legislative Services Building in Annapolis.

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