In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, environmental advocates argue the Trump administration has the power to halt the Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce emissions from power plants and limit the nation’s carbon emissions.
The new draft of the plan would allow states to opt out of some rules for their own pollution controls.
The agency is considering whether to scrap the rule, which is expected to be finalized in the first half of next year.
In the letter to Pruitt, the Environmental Defense Fund and others argued that the rule will not be effective unless states can opt out and still comply with the EPA’s emission standards.”EPA’s decision to abandon its rulemaking authority over the Clean Air Act in its last weeks in office sends a message to the world that we’re no longer willing to abide by it,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the environmental justice group.
“States have the right to protect themselves, and EPA’s actions will undermine the EPA and our ability to effectively enforce our nation’s environmental protections.”
The new EPA draft has a long list of flaws.
Among the most controversial are the fact that the agency has already failed to get states to submit information to the agency to verify the data used to calculate pollution limits.
Pruitt said in an interview with Fox News that states can submit data by October to verify that they met their emission standards, but the data will be limited to 2030.
A new rule will also require states to make more detailed emissions estimates and to use those estimates for their calculations of the amount of pollution that could be avoided by 2030.
In addition, the rule requires states to set a minimum emissions limit for electricity generated from coal-fired power plants.
The rule also says states can exempt power plants from the rule if they do not use coal to generate electricity.
Trump administration officials say they will continue to enforce the rules and will continue working with states to develop emission reduction plans.