Olens pushing Court to Reject EPA’s Demand on Air Quality Rules

| August 13, 2015

Olen

ATLANTA — Attorney General Sam Olens today joined a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) demand that Georgia and other states change previously approved rules regarding emissions from industrial sources during startup, shutdown, and malfunction periods. Sixteen other state attorneys general also have joined the lawsuit.

The EPA’s demand, which was issued in response to a petition from the Sierra Club, will increase costs for industrial plants while producing only a negligible environmental benefit. The demand is a distinct and unwarranted departure from the EPA’s decades-long acknowledgement that states have the primary role in determining how to meet emissions targets.

General Olens made the following statement in joining the lawsuit:

“Today I join a broad coalition of attorneys general in challenging the EPA’s latest tax on America’s consumers. The EPA has issued a decision that will make it more expensive for Georgia’s families to heat and cool their homes, and for Georgia’s businesses to keep the lights on and the machines running. Everyone who has seen a truck move after a red light understands this issue; it is important for Georgia power plants and industries to keep living up to their responsibilities on overall emissions, but this new mandate is simply the result of EPA working with the Sierra Club in yet another example of “sue and settle” decision-making.

EPA’s new rule also demonstrates once again that EPA has no respect for the states’ primary role in determining how to meet emissions targets. Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, working cooperatively with other state agencies, has done an excellent job ensuring that Georgia’s industrial plants operate in an environmentally responsible manner. The EPA’s new rule is a costly and unnecessary burden.”

“Georgia’s longstanding regulation governing these emissions has been part of an effective program that has achieved significant improvements in the state’s air quality,” said Jud Turner, Director of the Environmental Protection Division. “EPA’s finding regarding the insufficiency of Georgia’s rule will add only cost and administrative burden for no environmental benefit.”

The lawsuit was filed as a Petition for Review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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1 Comment on "Olens pushing Court to Reject EPA’s Demand on Air Quality Rules"

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  1. Roy Levine says:

    Article did not mention that Sierra Club sued the EPA for not enforcing the Federal Clean Air Act. This resulted in a settlement, by which EPA is now compelling States to be in compliance with the law. How can a reporter submit an article without speaking with the EPA or the Sierra Club? How is the reporter able to state conclusively that the new standard will have only a negligible effect on air quality? What is the reporter’s measure? I don’t know. What does the Clean Air Act state? I don’t know. Atlanta Journal Constitution says that the issue is the air quality for residents who live near these plants. Is it negligible for them? I don’t know. What is the cost of compliance? What fuels are these plants burning? Can they fire up with gas and then switch over to coal (thus avoiding the pollution)? I don’t know. Garbage article. Useless beyond the headline which made me aware of the issue.