New York Fights Interstate Smog, And the EPA

November 26, 2019

Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the ambient air can react in the presence of sunlight and heat to produce unhealthy ground-level ozone pollution, commonly known as smog. “Peak ozone concentrations in New York State typically occur during the May to September period when temperatures are highest,” according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

New York state strictly governs the release of NOx and VOCs. State authorities have asserted that New York state’s laws and regulations, which apply to emissions from power plants, factories, motor vehicles, and other sources, reduced annual NOx emissions by 43 percent between 2008 and 2014 and led to a 73 percent reduction of ozone-season NOx emissions from the state’s power plants between 2008 and 2017.

High levels of ozone nevertheless continue to be found in various locations throughout the state at numerous occasions throughout the year. In the NYSDEC’s opinion, a significant cause for that is the movement of ozone from “upwind states” to New York.

Charlotte A. Biblow, a partner in the environmental, land use and municipal law and litigation departments of Farrell Fritz, can be reached at cbiblow@farrellfritz.com.

Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal, Friday, November 22, 2019, Vol 262 – No. 101.

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  • Related Practice Areas: Environmental, Land Use & Municipal
  • Publications: New York Law Journal