EPA extends public hearings on power plant rule

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014

U.S. EPA will give commenters in four cities an additional day at the end of this month to make statements for or against its proposal for existing power plants.

The agency had planned one-day hearings in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., for the last week of July, but it announced today that each session will now run for two days. The hearings in Atlanta, Denver and Washington will be held on July 29 and 30, and the one in Pittsburgh will run on July 31 and Aug. 1.

“We were getting a lot of interest and wanted to provide more opportunities for people to come,” said Liz Purchia, a spokeswoman for EPA.

The agency has said it hopes to collect as much feedback as possible about its proposal to curb emissions from today’s power plants. It opened a 120-day public comment period last month, and top agency staff continue to hold meetings on the proposal with states, industry and other officials.

Meanwhile, states continue to weigh what EPA’s emissions targets will mean for them, and a few have signaled that they plan to challenge it in court. Nine states — Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming — have signed onto a lawsuit spearheaded by Murray Energy Corp. that argues EPA cannot promulgate rules under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act because it has already done so for other pollutants under a separate section of the law (Greenwire, July 1).