Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is arguing that a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement a one-year extension on the implementation of federal air quality standards prolongs the risk of illness for thousands of residents in Connecticut, and the Wilton resident who leads the American Lung Association in the Northeast agrees with him.
The extension is not fair to the people of Connecticut and puts the health of the population at severe risk, agreed Jon Rosen, board chair of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.
Rosen was emailed a copy of Malloy’s statements.
“We think Gov. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Wyman are completely right. The American Lung Association in Connecticut agrees that every resident of our state has the right to breathe clean, healthy air 24/7, 365 days a year,” Rosen said in a statement.
The governor made his comments in response to a decision earlier this month by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to delay the designation phase of the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). He is urging Pruitt to reconsider his decision.
“We urge you to move faster — not slower — to implement the 2015 ozone standard so that concentrations of pollution in our air will be less of a threat to our residents,” Malloy said in a letter to the EPA.
In his letter, Malloy explained that more than 90% of pollution found within Connecticut’s borders actually comes from western, upwind states that do not take the issue of air pollution seriously and blow their emissions toward the Northeast. He points out that even if every power plant and factory within the boundaries of Connecticut ceased operations,the state’s air would still exceed the federal ozone standards because of air pollution created to other states and blown into Connecticut.
The Governor argues that in addition to the health issues that air pollution causes, delaying the standards will put Connecticut businesses at an economic disadvantage against states that ignore critical air quality issues.
“For the sake of public health and economic fairness, I urge you to reconsider the unnecessary one-year extension and to promulgate initial attainment and nonattainment designations under the 2015 Ozone NAAQS,” Malloy wrote.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said the decision is irresponsible and is a national policy failure that unequivocally risks the health of citizenswho are downwind of polluting states. “In Connecticut, this delay means more