AUGUSTA — Speaker of the House Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, released the following statement on the LePage administration’s effort to rollback Maine’s air quality protections. The Department of Environmental Protection held a hearing Tuesday afternoon on the anti-smog rules.

 “Governor LePage’s proposal to reverse Maine’s anti-smog protections takes our state in the wrong direction,” said Eves. “These very air quality protections have made our air cleaner, protecting our natural resources and our public health.  In a state that relies on tourism and our natural resources to drive our economy, anti-smog provisions are good for business.”

 In July, the Speaker and Maine Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland and the Speaker of the House sent a letter to Governor LePage raising concern about the administration’s air quality proposal to relax the anti-smog standards with no public review.

 Maine led the effort in forming the 13-state regional partnership pact to reduce cross-border air pollution. Since the formation of that pact, pollution in Maine’s air has dropped to meet federal standards.

 Eves, added, “The goal of DEP should be to ensure a safe and clean environment for Maine people, not seek a ‘race to the bottom’ that could jeopardize the regional agreements that have already been so beneficial.”

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