Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to withdraw a proposed settlement that would obligate the agency to promote a Federal Implementation Plan to address "regional haze" nationwide.
Rutledge said she believes the proposed consent decree is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. Rutledge said the Sierra Club “lacks standing” in the lawsuit Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which led to the settlement.
“I am urging the parties not to enter into this consent decree because it is inappropriate for the EPA to make decisions for the State of Arkansas because of pressure exerted by a California organization that cannot establish that it has legal right to seek jurisdiction in the court,” Rutledge said. “I have a responsibility to protect the interests of Arkansans from unreasonable and unnecessary utility rate increases, which is where this will lead. The EPA is putting the interests of the Sierra Club above the interests of the state, and I will not stand for that.”
Rutledge said Arkansas has offered, on several occasions, to address regional haze, but “each time it is never enough for the EPA.”