Maryland won't join lawsuit against EPA over interstate pollution

Maryland officials won’t be joining New York and a handful of other Northeastern states that recently filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency demanding it hold other states responsible for the air pollution they send downwind.

“Maryland is working outside of the courtroom with EPA and other states to reduce interstate smog and we hope those efforts will be more effective than the filing of legal papers over the timing of EPA’s decision,” Ben Grumbles, secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, said in a statement.

Maryland was among eight states that asked the EPA in 2013 to require Midwestern and Southern states to do more to reduce the pollution that crosses their borders. But the agency has yet to act on that petition.

“Our coalition has waited almost three years for EPA to decide on whether it will use its legal authority to require upwind states to stem their contribution to the smog pollution,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in announcing the lawsuit.

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont joined New York in filing the suit in a federal court in New York City.

An EPA spokeswoman said the agency will review and respond to the lawsuit.

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