West Virginia Attorney General, DEP Say Proposed EPA Rule Misinterprets Clean Air Act
CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman said this week that new rules proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency should be withdrawn.
In February, the EPA proposed a rule directing 36 states to review previously approved state implementation plans to require that industrial facilities meet air pollution standards when the facility is starting up, shutting down or during a malfunction.
In written comments submitted to the EPA on May 13, Morrisey and Huffman say the proposed rules overstep the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act by mandating states change their federally approved plans for controlling emissions from industrial facilities and plants. The letter says the rules invalidate West Virginia emission regulations that have been on the books for years and require new standards that are out of step with reality.
“The proposed rules from the EPA would require the state to change regulations that the federal government previously approved and on which the state and West Virginia industries have been relying,” Morrisey said. “Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, states and the federal government have worked hand in hand to attain and maintain air quality standards. This rule attempts to upset years of accepted practice, and it creates a new level of uncertainty for the State of West Virginia and its citizens.”
Morrisey said the EPA’s attempt to label the state’s plan for addressing emissions during a plant’s start-up, shut-down or malfunctions as “substantially inadequate” are unfounded and wrong, and that he is pleased his Office was able to work with the DEP on such an important issue.
“We need to work together as a state to ensure the rule of law is followed and that citizens in West Virginia are protected from federal overreach,” he said.
To read the letter, click here