• May 18, 2022
 Groups Sue EPA to Enforce Texas Regional Haze Plan

Groups Sue EPA to Enforce Texas Regional Haze Plan

A coalition of conservation groups is taking the Environmental Protection Agency to court over changes to the Texas Regional Haze Plan.

The suit maintains that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violated the agency’s own regulations by replacing the plan with a new agreement that allows coal-fired power plants in Texas to emit higher levels of pollutants.

Michael Soules, a staff attorney with Earthjustice, says Pruitt’s cap-and-trade program would allow the plants to continue to produce pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, known as SO2, at a high rate.

“We found out that under Mr. Pruitt, EPA did a complete about face and issued a plan that, instead of leading to credible reductions in SO2, would actually permit them to increase SO2 above the levels that they emitted in 2016,”

Soules says Earthjustice sued the EPA on behalf of the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and National Parks Conservation Association, challenging the revised plan.

He says the battle over pollution from more than a dozen coal-fired plants in Texas has been going on since the state missed a 2007 federal deadline for implementing a haze reduction plan.

EPA officials did not comment on the lawsuit.

After a decade-long battle, the EPA issued a final plan requiring Texas coal-fired power plants to install pollution control equipment, called scrubbers, to reduce emissions that affect national parks and other areas across the region.

But Soules says in October, the Trump administration made major changes to the plan without allowing the required period of public comment.

“The benefits of cleaning up literally the oldest and dirtiest coal plants in the country – it’s not limited just to people that go and visit national parks like Big Bend or Guadalupe,” he states. “This is something that is impacting people in communities all across Texas and in other states that are downwind.”

Soules says pollution from the plants particularly affects people suffering from asthma and other health problems and can cause premature death.

The suit aims to force the EPA to abide by the January 2017 version of the plan and to hold a public comment period before finalizing any rule.

Author: Texas News Service

Texas News Service

Texas News Service is an arm of the Public News Service that provides stories that examine the effects of policy on areas that receive too little coverage, lifting up often marginalized voices and making greater journalistic breadth on any platform.

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  • “Earthjustice”, is a radical leftist group

  • Everyone knows that Scott Pruitt is ANTI ENVIRONMENT! And if you didn’t know by now, that Mikey AKA MAD MIKE 272 on the KVIA Forum is a Neo White Nationalist Supremacist and sometimes NAZI too.
    These republicans are going to destroy the Earth, in fact they are destroying the Earth now!

    • God, you are stupid!

      • You don’t even believe in God,you dumb Dotard mike aryan brother.

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