Source: New Jersey Newsroom.com
New Jersey receives a lot of jokes about its smells, but it’s a lot tougher when our state is “downwind.”
The state’s air quality has long been affected because New Jersey is downwind of harmful emissions from power plants in 27 “upwind” neighboring states.
NorthJersey.com reported that the Supreme Court has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which requires the out-of state power plants to reduce their emissions that cause soot and smog.
One reason the ruling helps New Jersey air is because the state now has a better opportunity to reach the EPA’s air quality standards. “It’s a great victory for states like New Jersey,” said Rutgers environmental professor Craig Oren, according to NorthJersey.com.
“States like New Jersey are unable to put together strategies to attain federal clean air standards because of the effects of pollution from other states.”
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez said the ruling could save more than 1,200 lives each year in the state, according to NJ Spotlight. It could also lower premature death across the U.S. by as many as 34,000 and reduce asthma attacks by 400,000.
Menendez added, “By recognizing that dirty emissions don’t stop at the state line, the Supreme Court’s ruling will save tens of thousands of lives every year and reduce healthcare costs in New Jersey and across the nation.’’
According to US EPA, the EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in 2011. The regulation calls for states to reduce power plant emissions that play a part in ozone and/or fine particle pollution in other states.
Upwind critics of the Supreme Court ruling argued that the changes would cause many coal plants that provide the area’s electricity to shut down.