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EPA announces “Good Neighbor” plan to help improve air quality in Connecticut

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is promising better air quality in southern Connecticut this summer.

It announced new changes to a decades-old rule called the “Good Neighbor” plan to help make that happen.

The plan is aimed at reducing pollution from power plants, cement factories and other industrial facilities in 23 states to improve the air quality for downwind states like Connecticut.

“We are going to see reductions even in this summer’s hot weather peak ozone season. So we are going to start seeing the benefits right away.” said David Cash, the EPA’s New England regional administrator.

The plan will have an almost immediate effect in southern Connecticut where unhealthy ozone levels have been a perennial problem.

“There’s a real comprehensive approach that's been taken to reduce emissions in an area of New England that we know has suffered from smog and particulates and a variety of other sources of emissions that are really problematic. And this is taking another big bite at this problem," Cash said.

Southern Connecticut experiences the highest ground-level ozone levels in the eastern half of the U.S. and 95% of that pollution comes from sources in states south and west of Connecticut, according to the EPA.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.