Oklahoma has sued the Environmental Protection Agency for rejecting the state’s “good neighbor” plan to keep ozone emissions from affecting surrounding states, Attorney General Gentner Drummond said Thursday.
“This is federal overreach of the first order,” Drummond said in a press release. “Rather than work with Oklahoma to make whatever modifications the EPA claims are necessary to comply with its burdensome regulations, the Biden Administration is seeking a one-size-fits-all federal plan with absolutely no input from Oklahoma or other affected states.
“The EPA plan places unnecessary and costly burdens on Oklahoma businesses and ignores the expertise of Oklahoma’s Department of Environmental Quality, all at the expense of state sovereignty.”
Drummond’s press release also says: “The EPA’s federal implementation plan would impose onerous federal emissions requirements on numerous sources, such as fossil fuel-fired power plants.”
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The EPA announced on Feb. 13 final disapproval of state implementation plans, known as SIPs, of 19 states, including Oklahoma. SIP rejection requires states to conform with federal regulation.
According to a notice printed in the Feb. 13 National Register, Oklahoma’s SIP was rejected for failure to properly deal with small amounts of pollution detected in Denton, Texas.
“The State included no permanent and enforceable emissions controls in its SIP submission,” the notice says.
The state is also cited for not sufficiently consulting tribal governments.
Several other states, including Texas and Arkansas, have already sued to reverse the EPA’s actions.
Opposing federal administrations have batted ozone emission regulation back and forth for more than a decade. The Obama administration used the Clean Air Act to tighten them, while the Trump administration loosened them.
Former Oklahoma Attorney General and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was very active in those contests, usually on the side of fossil fuel industries, which are the source of much of the emissions but are also important cogs the U.S. economy.