Clean Power Plan Update- December 21, 2017
EPA continues to make progress in its effort to repeal and replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP). EPA held public hearings on November 28-29, 2017, in Charleston, West Virginia to take testimony on its October 10, 2017, proposal to repeal the rule. EPA is accepting comments on the proposal to repeal the rule through January 16, 2018. EPA announced it will hold three additional public comment sessions due to the “overwhelming response” to the West Virginia hearing. The sessions have not yet been scheduled but they will take place in San Francisco, California; Gillette, Wyoming; and Kansas City, Missouri.
At a conference on November 17, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt indicated EPA is close to releasing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that will solicit the public’s input on how to regulate power plant greenhouse gas emissions. The ANPR will ask the public to comment on how carbon dioxide from power plants could be reduced under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. This is consistent with an approach to regulate power plants only “inside the fenceline.” Pruitt has stated that EPA does not plan to take comment on the Obama administration’s greenhouse gas endangerment finding in this ANPR.
While the regulatory process moves forward to repeal and replace the CPP, the environmental groups challenging the CPP asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in October to issue a ruling in the case. However, the court denied this request and has extended its stay over the CPP. On November 9, 2017, the court issued an opinion extending the stay for 60 days, requiring EPA to issue status reports on its repeal efforts every 30 days.
On December 18, 2017, EPA released a pre-publication copy of an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit information on “on the proper respective roles of the state and federal governments in that process, as well as information on systems of emission reduction that are applicable at or to an existing EGU, information on compliance measures, and information on state planning requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA).” The ANPR is expected be published in the Federal Register in due course.