July 30, 2013

Democrats criticize LePage administration's smog proposal

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Democratic leaders say a proposal by Gov. Paul LePage's administration to opt out of some anti-smog regulations would have serious implications on the health of Maine residents.

In a letter to the Republican governor on Tuesday, House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick and Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland say lawmakers and the public should have a chance to evaluate the proposal.

Maine's environmental department is seeking federal approval to allow new or newly-upgraded industrial polluters to be exempt from federal Clean Air Act measures designed to reduce ground-level ozone.

A spokeswoman for the department says a public hearing on the proposal will be held at a to-be-determined date. She says numerous scientific studies show that it will not affect the environment and residents' health will still be protected.

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