Biking and walking are my favorite ways to travel around Baltimore. To be sure I'll make it to work without stopping to wheeze for air, I subscribe to a daily bulletin for air quality reports. Recently, the air quality indicator has been yellow rather than green, and many Baltimoreans can tell the difference — asthma has kept them home from school or made it difficult to work. With summer beginning, Baltimore's smog will only get worse.
Four coal plants near Baltimore release pollution that forms smog and contributes to the asthma attacks and other health impacts Baltimore residents are so familiar with. As reported ("Obama taking a cue from Maryland on climate," June 2), Maryland is so far ahead of the rest of the country in regulating carbon pollution from coal plants that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is basing its new regulations on ours, but why have eight of Maryland's 13 coal units failed to install the state-of-the-art pollution-cutting technology that could address Baltimore's public health concerns?
Fortunately, our Maryland Department of the Environment is drafting rules that could address this crisis. MDE needs to pass the strongest rules possible to make Baltimore's air healthy to breathe again.
Jennifer Kunze, Baltimore-
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