LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newslinen) - A federal court in Arkansas on Monday granted the state's motion to intervene in a case involving a power plant and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
The case is Sierra Club v. McCarthy, and the state sought to intervene because it believes a consent decree that was proposed by both parties result in an arbitrary deadline for changes to regional haze made by the EPA.
“The EPA is ignoring what is best for Arkansas in order to satisfy the interests of the Sierra Club,” Rutledge said. “The Sierra Club initially brought this lawsuit, which affects Arkansas ratepayers, in a California federal court. I am pleased that the court has granted our request to intervene so that this ‘sue and settle’ case can be stopped. I am prepared to fully litigate this case to protect Arkansas utility ratepayers from increased costs.”
Rutledge filed comments on Monday addressing the consent decree, and argued that the “arbitrary deadline” would lead the EPA to establish a rule that would require power plants to spend billions of dollars to comply but would net “very limited improvement in visibility.”
“The state of Arkansas’s defense is thus based upon the fact that the statute is jointly administered by the state and the EPA as part of the ‘cooperative federalism’ mandated by the Clean Air Act,” said Judge Leon Holmes in the court order. “Neither Sierra Club nor the EPA argues to the contrary.”