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Kentucky Responds to Maryland Clean Air Act Petition

On December 2, 2016, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet requested EPA deny a November 16, 2016 petition from the State of Maryland pursuant to Section 126(b) of the Clean Air Act that requested EPA abate emissions from 36 coal-fired electric generating units in five states, including Kentucky, that supposedly contribute to Maryland’s non-attainment with the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) of 0.075ppm. The Maryland petition identified three Kentucky emission sources as purportedly contributing to Maryland’s failure to meet the 2008 ozone NAAQS and specifically requested more stringent NOX limits be imposed on those sources. Kentucky’s response requested immediate denial of the petition on the ground that ozone ambient air monitors operated in and around Maryland demonstrate compliance with the 2008 limit.

Additionally, Kentucky asserted that the petition failed to provide adequate justification for requiring Kentucky sources to make further reductions and also failed to account for recent revisions to the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the ozone season budgets published on October 26, 2016, which require the three identified Kentucky sources to reduce their emissions by more than 2,000 tons of NOX during ozone season or acquire allowances while still complying with applicable requirements. Kentucky also highlighted the local source impact on Maryland air quality and that 32 sources in Maryland have higher NOX limits than the requested limits for the three Kentucky sources. As stated in Kentucky’s response, “[i]f EPA grants the petition, Kentucky sources will be required to reduce emissions at an economic penalty, whereas Maryland can continue to promote economic growth and increase emissions.” Kentucky requested the petition be denied so that Kentucky industries would not be placed “at an unfair, unreasonable economic disadvantage.”

© 2021 Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 364
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About this Author

Robin B. Thomerson, Dinsmore, Environmental Lawyer, Energy Attorney
Of Counsel

Robin Thomerson is a member of the litigation department and focuses her practice on environmental law including issues arising regarding permitting and compliance with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, RCRA and CERCLA. She has represented various entities, including utilities and manufacturing companies, in maintaining compliance with environmental laws.

Prior to entering private practice, Robin served as an attorney with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet where she represented the Kentucky Divisions of Waste and Water and served as...

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