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About 9.4 million New Yorkers are breathing in unhealthy air, according to the American Lung Association, some of it due to smog from neighboring states with less stringent air quality regulations.

This can lead to health problems like lung tissue damage. It can also worsen existing conditions like asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and emphysema.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is leading a coalition to intervene in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with the goal of forcing it to cut pollution coming from upwind states, according to a news release.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the City of New York are also leading the fight. 

Maryland, Delaware and public health and environmental groups have lawsuits against the EPA, and the coalition is looking to join them. The EPA has already denied petitions from these states, which asked pollution sources upwind to reduce their emissions of smog-forming pollution, the release said. 

"The (Donald) Trump Administration has flouted even their most basic legal obligations to protect public health and our environment," Underwood said in a release. "The health of an alarming 9.4 million New Yorkers — one in two of our residents — is jeopardized by smog pollution. Yet, the Trump EPA continues to ignore the Clean Air Act and refuses to require reductions in the pollution largely responsible for this serious health risk — pollution that blows into New York from upwind states."

The Clean Air Act specifically allows states downwind of pollution to petition the EPA "for a finding that upwind sources are emitting air pollution in violation of the Act's 'Good Neighbor' provision. That provision requires the EPA to step in and adopt plans to reduce interstate smog pollution when the actions of upwind states are no sufficient," the release said.

— Gwendolyn Craig

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Reporter Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (518) 742-3238 or gcraig@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1

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