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EGU MACT Date Officially Extended (10/27/11)

On October 7, 2011, the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) filed a motion in the D.C. District Court requesting the Court to modify the Consent Decree by extending the deadline one year from November 16, 2011 to November 16, 2012 for EPA to sign its final rule establishing emission standards for coal- and oil-fired electric generating units (EGUs). On October 10, 2011, twenty-five (25) States and the Territory of Guam filed as amici curiae in support of the UARG petition. The amici curiae States explained that they are responsible for: (1) issuing air permits to coal- and oil-fired EGUs under state laws and the Clean Air Act; (2) regulating and ensuring the availability of sufficient electric power within their borders and (3) ensuring the health, welfare and economic well-being of their citizens, all of which are at least in part dependent on the availability of reliable and affordable electric power.

Neither UARG nor the amici curiae States are asking the Court to make a decision on the proper level of the emission standards, which ultimately will be determined by EPA. Rather, UARG and amici curiae States simply ask the Court to allow EPA to “take a step back” and provide a reasonable period of time for the Agency to respond to the voluminous comments received during the public comment period, to attempt to fix serious technical flaws acknowledged by EPA, and then to more carefully consider the issuance of a major rule with far-reaching consequences.

On October 21, 2011, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion, on behalf of EPA, in opposition to the UARG motion. However, with agreement from Plaintiffs, DOJ stipulated to a 30-day extension to the rulemaking deadline. On October 24, 2011, D.C. District Court Judge Collyer denied the UARG motion without prejudice and approved the parties’ Stipulation, which extends the deadline for EPA to sign its final EGU MACT rule until December 16, 2011.

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