Old Dominion Electric Cooperative coal-fired Clover Power Station in Clover, Virginia. Photo Credit: Tom Pelton/CBF Staff

A Call for "Good Neighbors" in the Bay Airshed

Pollution fouling our Bay is coming from a lot farther away than most would think. In fact, nearly one-third of nitrogen polluting the Bay comes from the air. In November of 2016, the State of Maryland sent a petition to the EPA asking for it to fulfill its responsibility to protect human health and the environment by helping to reduce air pollution from coal-fired power plants in upwind states. The air pollution from these out-of-state plants worsen Marylanders' health problems and have a negative impact on Maryland waters. EPA never responded to the petition.

That's why in October 2017, we and several environmental and public health partners filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to respond to this indefensible situation. We are asking the EPA to enforce the "good neighbor" provision of the Clean Air Act, which requires states to ensure their air pollution is not contributing to pollution problems in downwind states.

Air pollution in the Chesapeake Bay airshed, an area roughly nine times larger than the watershed, contributes a significant amount of nitrogen to the Bay and its tributaries. Effective enforcement of the Clean Air Act is critical to restoring the Bay and protecting the health of all residents of the watershed (human and animal!).


We explored the history, complexity, and impact of air pollution in the Chesapeake Bay airshed as part of our biweekly podcast series, Turning the Tide. Listen to CBF attorneys Ariel Solaski and Alayna Chuney discuss recent litigation aimed at reducing the air pollution from neighboring states that negatively affects the health of our citizens and our waterways.

Sidebar Photo: Robert Miller.