GOVERNOR WHITMAN URGES PRESIDENT CLINTON TO UPHOLD EPA CLEAN AIR PROPOSAL
Governor Christie Whitman and governors from throughout the
northeastern United States today urged the Clinton Administration
to follow through on its plans to reduce air pollution in the
eastern United States.
In a letter to President Clinton, the governors said many northeastern
states will be unable to achieve public health standards for ambient
air quality if midwestern and southern states do not reduce emissions
as called for in a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal
announced last September.
"EPA has proposed a very flexible plan that enables states to
achieve the reductions in a least cost manner. It includes ample time for
other states to employ the pollution control technologies that have
been standard in New Jersey for years. Pollution from downwind states
is hampering our efforts to clean our air," said Governor Whitman,
who has played a leadership role in addressing regional air pollution
The 37 state Ozone Transport Assessment Group used sophisticated
computer modeling to demonstrate that nitrogen oxides (Nox) emitted
from the towering stacks of coal power plants travel hundreds of miles
on prevailing winds. The problem is most acute in the summer when
nitrogen oxides from upwind states trigger the formation of
unhealthful levels of ground level ozone, or smog, in downwind states,
including New Jersey.
"We have worked hard with neighboring and distant states to reach
a near consensus on this issue," said New Jersey Environmental
Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn. "Most states are committed to
change but ultimately only the federal government has the authority to
solve this very serious problem."
Recognizing emissions from New Jersey can elevate smog levels in New
Jersey as well as in downwind states, the state Department of
Environmental Protection proposed rules last year to further reduce
Nox emissions from the state's power plants. When this rule is
finalized next month and subsequently implemented, New Jersey will
have fulfilled its commitment to meet EPA's target.