WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Robert Menendez today applauded the ruling by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. In accordance with the Clean Air Act's "good neighbor" provision, this rule requires states to reduce harmful power plant emissions from within their state that contribute to ozone or fine particle pollution in downwind states. Today's decision overturns a 2012 appellate court ruling that invalidated the rule.

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court is a huge win for our air, our health, our economy and the quality of life of all New Jerseyans," said Sen. Menendez. "While New Jersey has taken some proactive measures to reduce its own hazardous power plant emissions, our residents continue to suffer at the hands of upwind polluters. 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. And not only will it help us to meet its our own air quality standard goals, it's an important step in holding all states accountable for the full scope of their own emissions."

Senator Menendez has long supported the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, having previously sent a letter to Governor Christie calling on him to defend the rule due to its significant beneficial impacts for New Jersey. New Jersey is one of the states more directly impacted from polluters to its west. The Cross-State Air Pollution rule is supported by the NJ Chamber of Commerce and the state's largest utility, PSE&G. According to the EPA, it will:

  • Save over 1,200 lives per year in New Jersey starting in 2014
  • Save up to 34,000 lives, prevent 400,000 asthma attacks, and avoid 1.8 million lost work or sick days per year nationally;
  • Create economic benefits that are estimated to be between $120 billion and $280 billion each year.