Rutledge Requests Intervention in Regional Haze Case after EPA Continually Rejects State Plans from ADEQ
June 11, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after submitting a motion to intervene in the case, Sierra Club v. McCarthy. Despite the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) submitting robust plans to combat regional haze, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze that fails to consider the best interests for Arkansas.
“This is a classic example of a ‘sue and settle’ case,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The EPA agreed to the demands of the Sierra Club without any real litigation of the issues and without input from the State. Recent data shows that visibility impairment is improving in Arkansas and this federal rule is unnecessary. It is my duty to protect Arkansans from rate increases that will negatively impact them and offer zero benefit to Arkansas beyond those proposed by the State Plans. I am confident the State will be granted intervention in this case. The EPA should put the interests of Arkansans far ahead of the Sierra Club’s political interests.”
The request for intervention follows Rutledge submitting public comments in response to a proposed consent decree in the case. The comments requested that the EPA withdraw the proposed settlement citing that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the comments, Rutledge also said that the Sierra Club lacks standing to bring the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement.
Rutledge is requesting intervention after the EPA held a public hearing in Arkansas on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze.