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Rutledge Welcomes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to Arkansas


July 20, 2017

Visit comes just weeks after decision to re-evaluate WOTUS rule

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge welcomed her former colleague and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to Arkansas as part of his state action tour.

Pruitt held a meeting today at the Capitol with Rutledge, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, State Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Director Becky Keogh to discuss his action in June to rescind the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and the EPA’s approval of Arkansas’s 303D water quality standards that list impaired waters for the State, dating back to 2010. As a result of the State’s efforts, 76 percent of water bodies impaired in 2008 are no longer showing impairments and a total of 335 waters are now meeting Arkansas Water Quality Standards. Pruitt also held a breakfast roundtable hosted by the Arkansas Poultry Federation.

“I am proud to welcome EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to the Natural State,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Administrator Pruitt’s decision last month to completely re-evaluate the WOTUS rule, minimizing the regulatory burden on countless landowners, demonstrates his commitment to building stronger relationships with state partners. Preserving and protecting our clean air and clean water through a cooperative, lawful and thoughtful process based on science and data is a priority for Arkansas.”

Pruitt’s visit to Arkansas comes after Rutledge met with Pruitt at the EPA Headquarters during a recent visit to Washington, D.C. Rutledge also last week hosted a conference call in which over 45 of her state attorneys general colleagues participated for a chance to hear directly from Pruitt about his mission for the EPA and to ask him questions about various rules and regulations.

Because the EPA under the previous administration had chosen to ignore the clear intent of the laws passed by Congress and comments submitted in opposition to proposed rules, Rutledge was previously forced to challenge the so-called Clean Power Plan, which included winning a historic and unprecedented stay at the U.S. Supreme Court; WOTUS, which included a nationwide stay blocking enforcement; Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze; Mercury and Air Toxics Standards; Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction standard changes for State Implementation Plans; and the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Rutledge has also recommended to Pruitt the repeal, replacement or modification of the following Obama era rules: the so-called Clean Power Plan, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, Oil and Gas Methane New Source Performance Standards and the Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule.

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