EDF, Allies Demand EPA Allow Legally Required Public Comment on Key Aspects of Clean Power Plan Rollback

September 9, 2019
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – September 9, 2019) Environmental Defense Fund and a coalition of 11 other health and environmental groups have filed a formal request demanding that EPA fulfill its legal obligation to allow public comment on important aspects of the Trump administration’s Clean Power Plan rollback.

“The Trump EPA’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan puts Americans at greater risk from the pollution that endangers our climate and health, and it has especially damaging impacts on communities that are already vulnerable,” said EDF Lead Attorney Tomás Carbonell. “The administration’s failure to take public input on key aspects of this immensely harmful decision is unlawful and outrageous.”

The Clean Power Plan established America’s first and only nationwide limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants, and would reduce deadly soot and smog. The Trump administration’s ACE rule repeals the Clean Power Plan, drastically weakens limits on power plant carbon pollution, and may result in more soot- and smog-forming pollution than having no rule at all. An EDF analysis of the final ACE rule found that it would increase carbon pollution in as many as sixteen states plus DC.

EPA is required by the Clean Air Act to give public notice of the key issues in the ACE rule and consider public comments. But the final ACE rule that was released this June contained many significant aspects that EPA had not previously made available for comment – including new, flawed legal interpretations and skewed analyses of the rule’s impacts on climate and public health.

On Friday, EDF filed a formal request demanding that EPA give the public a meaningful opportunity to comment on those aspects of the rule, as the law requires. Joining EDF on the filing were the American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, Appalachian Mountain Club, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Clean Air Council, Clean Wisconsin, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club.

A coalition of 22 states, the District of Columbia, and eight local governments also demanded on Friday that EPA allow for public comment on previously undisclosed aspects of the ACE rule.

Separately, EDF and 12 other public health and environmental organizations have filed a lawsuit challenging the rollback of the Clean Power Plan in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Legal challenges have also been filed by 22 states and seven local governments, and by nine power companies.

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