Indiana Could See Changes To Smog Emission Rules

Oct 14, 2016

Credit Alan Berning (Flickr)

Indiana could be forced to reduce power plant emissions that cause smog because of a lawsuit filed by six northeastern states against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the lawsuit along with Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont last week. Those states are asking the EPA to add Indiana and Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia to the Ozone Transport Region (OTR).

The OTR is a group of 11 states required by the EPA to reduce pollutants that cause smog, or ozone. Ozone forms when power plant emissions like nitric oxide and volatile organic compounds react in the presence of sunlight.

In the lawsuit, Schneiderman argues that Indiana and the other “upwind” states are contributing to pollution in the “downwind” states, making it more difficult for them to comply with federal standards.

In 2013 the northeastern states petitioned the EPA to expand the OTR. The lawsuit comes after the EPA failed to respond to the petition within the allotted 18 months.

In an emailed statement, the EPA said it will review and respond to the lawsuit.