EPA: States Have No Obligation To Comply With Clean Power Plan, Defends Budget Cuts

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt Thursday sent letters to state governors advising them that they are under no obligation to adhere to the Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule.  The text of the letter follows--

“On February 9, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) effectively "suspend[ing] administrative alteration of the status quo." Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 428 n.l (2009).

“Further, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, the Supreme Court has authority to "issue all necessary and appropriate process to postpone the effective date of an agency action or to preserve status or rights pending conclusion of the review proceedings." 5 U.S.C. § 705.

“Under that precedent, States and other interested parties have neither been required nor expected to work towards meeting the compliance dates set in the CPP. It is the policy of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that States have no obligation to spend resources to comply with a Rule that has been stayed by the Supreme Court ofthe United States. To the extent any deadlines become relevant in the future, case law and past practice of the EPA supports the application of day-to-day tolling.

“The days of coercive federalism are over. Accordingly, I look forward to working with you, your state experts and local communities as we develop a path forward to improve our environment and bolster the economy in a manner that is respectful of and consistent with the rule of law.”

A copy of the letter is available online.


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Fox News: EPA’s Pruitt Says States Have The Resources To Do The Job

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Sunday defended massive 31 percent budget cuts at EPA, including funding for states to carry out federal programs saying, “We have state departments of environmental quality that have the resources and the expertise to deal with clean water and clean air issues,” on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.

On March 16 the Environmental Council of the States, which represents the state environmental agencies of all 50 states, said the “dramatic cuts” proposed by President Trump will adversely affect every state.”

Clearly, Pennsylvania does not now and has not had the resources to carry out its mission for some time.

Pennsylvania has seen the General Assembly and Democratic and Republican governors cut the Department of Environmental Protection’s General Fund budget by 40 percent and its staff by 25 percent over the last 14 years.

Click Here for Pruitt’s comments on state funding.

Chris Wallace also pressed Prutt on climate and air quality issues.  Click Here for the full interview.

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[Posted: April 2, 2017]


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