Coalition of US states sues EPA over rule tightening deadline for Clean Air Act implementation plans News
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Coalition of US states sues EPA over rule tightening deadline for Clean Air Act implementation plans

A coalition of 25 US states sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday over a final rule entitled “Adoption and Submittal of State Plans for Designated Facilities: Implementing Regulations Under Clean Air Act Section 111(d),” arguing that the EPA did not have the authority to institute the new rule. The case is in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, states must submit plans to the EPA that provide for establishing, implementing and enforcing performance standards for existing energy sources. The new final rule creates a tighter deadline that states must comply with.

According to the complaint, the “final rule exceeds the agency’s statutory authority and otherwise is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law.” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen stated:

This is an attempt by the Biden administration to take power away from the states and force his woke green agenda on Americans as they continue their war on coal and affordable energy. When temperatures are below zero, wind and solar won’t keep warm. We need our coal-fired power plants that President Biden and his administration are hellbent on shutting down. As attorney general, I will continue to fight back against Joe Biden’s overreaching policies to do what’s best for Montanans.

While the rule was still pending during notice and comment, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey challenged the rule in a letter arguing that “states will be unable to meet EPA’s proposed timelines” and that the EPA has “no authority” to take this action. Additionally, the letter asserts that the rule “improperly tries to “push States into abandoning their local-level discretion” by erecting significant roadblocks for any States that seek to exercise it.” The Administrative Procedures Act requires agencies to publish proposed rules to receive public comments and respond to them before the rule can become final.

In July 2023, US conservation groups sued the EPA over its air pollution practices, asserting that the EPA is falling short of its requirement to update air pollution limits.