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North Carolina files lawsuit to compel EPA to follow the law

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 12:00am

DEQ has filed a complaint against federal environmental officials for failing to act on a petition that inappropriately blamed North Carolina for contributing to air quality problems in the Northeastern United States.

A group of Northeastern states petitioned the EPA in December 2013 to force a number of states including North Carolina to install unnecessary and expensive controls on emission sources.  The petition failed to demonstrate that emissions from North Carolina's power plants had any impact on the Northeastern states. Under the law, the EPA has 18 months to approve or deny a petition. The lawsuit filed today will force EPA to finally take action. 

New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont said they filed the petition to "level the playing field for businesses" by driving up electricity prices in North Carolina. 

North Carolina’s complaint asks a federal court to find the EPA in violation of the Clean Air Act for failing to perform its duties and to require that the federal agency reach a decision on the petition.

You can read the petition here.