8 Northeast governors ask EPA to curb pollution from South, Midwest

The governors of eight Northeast states petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to require nine "upwind" states in the South and Midwest to curb air pollution, which they say is blown by the wind into their region.

The petition asks the EPA to restrict emissions from the nine states, including Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois and Kentucky, which the petition says contribute to health problems and higher ozone levels in the Northeast states.

States signing the petition include Delaware, New York, Rhode Island and New York.

The request comes one day before the Supreme Court will listen to arguments over the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Known as the "good neighbor rule," it requires coal-burning states where pollution blows across the border to rein in emissions.

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The regulation was struck down by an appeals court. The Obama administration says the rule is vital to protecting both the health and economies of "downwind" states, while those states and the coal industry say the rule is a job killer.

The states petitioning the EPA say they have spent billions of dollars to clean up their air but can only do so much in the face of produced by neighboring states that have less restrictive environmental regulations.

"The petition seeks long-overdue commitments from the upwind states to protect the health of downwind residents and to level the playing field for businesses," Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said in a statement issued by his office. "Delaware air quality remains overwhelmed by air pollution from upwind states, even though we have reduced emissions within Delaware of ozone-forming pollution by more than 70%."


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