Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer On Clean Air Court Ruling

New York State Attorney General Spitzer today hailed a major clean air decision from the United States Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, which will require major reductions in air pollution from power plants and other facilities by the year 2003.

"In 1998, the federal Environmental Protection Agency established new rules which required the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions that contribute to high levels of urban smog throughout New York and the Northeast. Midwestern states and power plant operators sued in federal court to throw out the new air pollution regulations. The State of New York joined the federal Department of Justice, other Northeastern states and environmental groups to defend the clean air regulations. In November 1999, my office appeared in federal court to vigorously argue in favor of these new requirements which we believe will protect public heath and the environment."

"Today’s court decision compliments lawsuits my office has filed directly against Midwestern coal burning power plants. While this ruling will provide significant relief from the serious health risks posed by smog in New York State, it does not address the acid rain problem caused by sulfur dioxide emissions. For the reason, I will continue to vigorously pursue the litigation I announced last September and work for cleaner and healthier air for all New Yorkers."