The Environmental Protection Agency is facing lawsuits over a June 7 final
rule that allows a number of states to use the emissions trading program under
the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to reduce regional haze, rather than
requiring best available retrofit technology for power plants (National Parks
Conservation Ass'n v. EPA, D.C. Cir., docket number unavailable, 8/3/12;
Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, D.C. Cir., No. 12-1342, 8/6/12).
The National Parks Conservation Association and the Sierra Club filed a
petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit, as did the Utility Air Regulatory Group.
In the final rule, EPA determined that the cross-state rule, which requires
power plants in 28 states to reduce interstate transport of nitrogen oxides and
sulfur dioxide, will result in greater visibility improvements than best
available retrofit technology (77
Fed. Reg. 33,642; 107 DER A-11, 6/5/12).
The Clean Air Act allows states to substitute alternatives to source-specific
best available retrofit technology to reduce regional haze if the alternative
does a better job of improving visibility, EPA said.
Earthjustice, which filed the petition for review on behalf of the
environmental groups, issued a statement Aug. 6 characterizing the final rule as
“[e]xempting some of the oldest and highest polluting coal-fired power plants
from installing the Best Available Retrofit Technology.”
By Jessica Coomes