WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger praised the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday for new policies that he says will improve air quality and set in place new anti-pollution regulations.
The agreement settles two lawsuits filed by environmental groups and several states that sought to require the EPA to adopt new limits for greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants.
"For the first time, EPA has agreed to adopt greenhouse gas emission standards for existing polluters," Keith Dubanevich, chief of staff and special counsel to Attorney General Kroger, said. "This is a great step forward to reducing air pollution and protecting public health."
The two settled cases were New York v. EPA and American Petroleum Institute v. EPA.
Under terms of the agreement, the EPA is now required to propose limits for new pollution sources and emission guidelines for existing sources by July 26. Final pollution rules and emission guidelines must be adopted by May 26, 2012.
The EPA must also propose rules for new pollution sources and emission guidelines for existing sources under the petroleum refineries agreement. That must be done by Dec. 10. By Nov. 10, 2012, the EPA must also adopt final pollution limits and emission guidelines.
In its discovery, the EPA has determined that power plants and petroleum refineries account for the first and second largest emitters of global warming pollution among all major stationary sources.
When developing their own implementation rules, states may also take into account the remaining useful life of the existing source.