Rutledge Urges the EPA to Withdraw Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze

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April 24, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding a proposed consent decree that would obligate the EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze.

The comments request the EPA to withdraw the proposed settlement citing that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the comments, Rutledge also says that the Sierra Club lacks standing in the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement. 

“I am urging the parties not to enter into this consent decree because it is inappropriate for the EPA to make decisions for the State of Arkansas because of pressure exerted by a California organization that cannot establish that it has legal right to seek jurisdiction in the court,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas has offered plan after plan to address regional haze, and each time it is never enough for the EPA. I have a responsibility to protect the interest of Arkansans from unreasonable and unnecessary utility rate increases, which is where this will lead. The EPA is putting the interest of the Sierra Club above the interests of the State, and I will not stand for that.”

Rutledge has filed these comments after the EPA held a public hearing in Arkansas on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze.

A copy of the comment letter submitted to the EPA can be viewed here.


About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on Nov. 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office.

Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.