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    Rutledge Files Comments with the EPA Regarding Federal Regional Haze Proposal

    July 16, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after it proposed a Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan following rejection of the State’s plan to improve visibility in the State’s wilderness areas.

    The comments, filed yesterday, state that the EPA acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in its decision to require billions of dollars in compliance costs for very limited improvement in visibility.

    “I am urging the EPA to carefully consider the comments that have been submitted,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This Federal Implementation Plan is a prime example of an overreaching federal regulation in a State in which recent data shows that visibility is improving. A plan crafted by Arkansas officials considering Arkansas’s best interests would serve the State much better.”

    In the letter, Rutledge writes, “The proposed Federal Implementation Plan has no basis in law or science and is a prime example of overreaching federal regulation in response to ‘sue and settle’ litigation brought by the Sierra Club. As such, the EPA should withdraw the proposed plan and consult with the State in developing an approvable State Implementation Plan.”

    These comments are being filed after Rutledge requested the EPA withdraw the proposed settlement between the Sierra Club and the EPA which would require the EPA to put in place a Federal Implementation Plan by December 15. In her previous comments, Rutledge cited that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the previous comments, Rutledge also said that the Sierra Club lacks standing in the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement. On July 11, Rutledge requested intervention in Sierra Club v. McCarthy.

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

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