US EPA has announced three public listening sessions and will re-open the public comment period regarding the Agency’s proposal to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which contains rules for emissions from power plants.
After holding an initial listening session around Thanksgiving at the West Virginia Capitol Complex in Charleston, West Virginia, EPA announced on February 1 that it will hold three additional public listening sessions in response “to numerous requests for additional opportunities for the public to provide oral testimony on the proposed rule in more than one location.”
EPA also again extended the comment period on its repeal proposal, this time until April 26, 2018.
What Is (Was) EPA’s Clean Power Plan?
Finalized in October 2015, the Clean Power Plan would have required states to implement programs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. State plans were expected to be complete this summer, and mandatory compliance was to start in Summer 2022. The goal was to reduce carbon pollution from electricity generators by about one third by 2030.
The Rule was stayed by the Supreme Court in early 2016 pending the outcome of litigation challenging EPA authority to enforce the new standards. Then, in March 2017, President Trump ordered many of the previous administration’s orders and reports related to climate change be revoked. EPA was to “suspend, revise, or rescind” the Clean Power Plan.
In October 2017, EPA officially proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan.
Whether the plan to repeal or replace—presuming there is a replacement—will face its own set of legal challenges remains to be seen. Public health officials, like Kevin Stewart of the American Lung Association, have voiced concerns about the repeal, emphasizing that those most at risk from air pollution—infants, children, senior citizens, and those with respiratory, lung, or heart conditions—make up a large percentage of the general population.
Less than one year ago, Lion named the Clean Power Plan as one of two EPA Rules to Watch in 2017.
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