Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said on July 16 the Environmental Protection Agency acted arbitrarily after proposing a Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan. | Arkansas Attorney General

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was “arbitrary and capricious” in proposing a regional haze federal implementation plan, said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on July 16.

Rutledge made the comments after the EPA rejected a state plan to improve visibility in wilderness areas. She said the plan proposed by the EPA would require billions of dollars in compliance but only offer minimal improvement in visibility.

“I am urging the EPA to carefully consider the comments that have been submitted,” Rutledge said. “This federal implementation plan is a prime example of an overreaching federal regulation in a state in which recent data shows visibility is improving.”

Rutledge added that Arkansas would be better served with state officials coming up with a plan rather than a plan considered by the EPA.

“The proposed federal implementation plan has no basis in law or science and is a prime example of overreaching federal regulation in response to ‘sue and settle’ litigation brought by the Sierra Club,” Rutledge said in her letter. “As such, the EPA should withdraw the proposed plan and consult with the state in developing a state implementation plan [that can be approved].”

Rutledge filed the letter after asking the EPA to cancel a settlement it reached with the Sierra Club. She has said previously the EPA's plan is “inconsistent with the Clean Air Act.”

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