13 state AGs say EPA’s rule proposal violates Clean Air Act

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Attorneys general from 13 states yesterday demanded that U.S. EPA withdraw its proposed rules for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants for allegedly failing to disclose information required by the Clean Air Act.

“Without such missing data and related materials, states and the public cannot properly determine that basis on which EPA claims that these emissions standards are achievable and reasonable,” the state attorneys general wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Signing the letter were attorneys general for West Virginia, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, South Dakota, Louisiana, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and Ohio.

The Clean Air Act requires that EPA publish data, information and documents that contain policy considerations underlying proposed rules.

According to the letter, EPA failed to publish on the docket 84 percent of the modeling runs on which it based its proposed rule for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The agency also failed to release net heat rate and emissions data for the rule, the states said.

In its rule for modified sources of CO2 in the power plant sector, the states say the agency failed to release any technical information to support its standard for certain power units.

Without the information, EPA has “failed to provide an accurate picture of the reasoning” behind the two rules, the states argue.

States have also challenged the agency’s rule for existing power plants in federal court, but environmentalists have said legal challenges were unlikely to be successful (Greenwire, Aug. 4).

EPA has defended its rules amid criticism from states and industry.

“We are asking states to do things that are not only practical and affordable but that absolutely can grow the economy and create jobs,” McCarthy said as the agency kicked off a round of recent hearings on the proposed standards for existing power plants.