A federal judge is ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to take steps that could lead to sanctioning a coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania for increasing air pollution in Connecticut.
Judge Warren Eginton for the district court in Connecticut is giving the EPA 60 days to make a decision based on the state's request for the agency to act under the Clean Air Act, according to a Wednesday decision.
The EPA missed the deadline for responding to the state's formal claims to petition for relief as a downwind state.
Connecticut argued in its petition that the power plant has harmed its ability to meet ozone regulations while raising harmful air pollution in the state.
The petition has been lingering for nearly two years, which Eginton wrote "is clearly at odds with period of time that Congress deemed appropriate" for the EPA to review a Clean Air Act petition.
“Defendants’ proposed schedule contravenes the congressional intent that EPA ‘act quickly on a Section 126(b) petition,’" the judge continued.
The state filed its petition in June 2016, asking the EPA to sanction the Brunner Island coal-fired power plant in York Haven, Pa.
The state's petition said the plant is increasing pollution in Connecticut and seeks relief by having the EPA order the plant to reduce emissions.
Other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states have threatened lawsuits over the Trump EPA's failure to address similar claims.