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Good Neighbor Provision

The Clean Air Act's “good neighbor” provision is designed to prevent one state significantly contributing to a National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) violation in another state. Section 176A authorizes the EPA administrator to establish a transport region for a pollutant where the EPA administrator believes that the interstate transport of such air pollutants from one or more states contributes significantly to a violation of a NAAQS in one or more other states. 

Ozone Transport Region

In the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, Congress established a specific 12-state Ozone Transport Region, extending from Maine south to northern Virginia, pursuant to Section 184 of the act. Section 176A enables EPA administrator to add a state to the transport region or a state may be added by a petition to the administrator. A petition or request under Section 176A must be approved or disapproved by the EPA within 18 months of receipt. 

Ozone Transport Commission

In addition to the transport region, the act also authorizes the establishment of a transport commission. The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) is a multi-state organization responsible for advising the EPA on transport issues and developing and implementing solutions to address ground-level ozone problems.

In 2013, the OTC petitioned the EPA to expand the Ozone Transport Region to include nine upwind states, including Kentucky. EPA ultimately denied the petition. In April, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected a lawsuit from New York and seven other OTC states to expand the Ozone Transport Region. Key letters and responses in this case can be found below.