Luminant today filed a motion at the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan final rule for Texas and Oklahoma. Along with two other power generators, Luminant is asking the court to stop implementation of the final rule while under legal review because the rule is causing irreparable harm to businesses and communities across Texas.
Luminant filed a petition for review challenging the EPA Regional Haze FIP on Feb. 29. The state of Texas, other power generators and the Utility Air Regulatory Group have also filed petitions for review, and all petitions have been consolidated into a single case.
The Regional Haze rule under the Clean Air Act is not a health-based program, but is designed to improve visibility over decades at national parks. Under the EPA’s final rule, Texas is unlawfully burdened with unnecessary regulations and costs when the visibility is improving under the Texas State Implementation Plan.
Luminant believes the EPA final rule is unlawful, arbitrary and goes far beyond the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act:
- There remains no legal or technical basis for the EPA’s FIP since the plan submitted by Texas fully complies with the statute.
- For the first time in history, the EPA unlawfully disapproved the Regional Haze consultation between two states, Texas and Oklahoma.
- The costs are extreme and unjustified for no perceptible benefit in visibility at three national parks: Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains in Texas and Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma.
- Never before has the EPA singled out individual sources in this way. The cost to Luminant, at more than $1 billion, to retrofit the Big Brown and Monticello power plants with sulfur dioxide scrubbers is unreasonable and would likely challenge the long-term viability of those plants.
- The EPA FIP and its excessive costs are unnecessary since the federal monitors at these parks show visibility already improved beyond the 2018 goals set in the final rule.
In filing the petition for review, Luminant has asked the court to overturn this unlawful rule. More on Luminant’s position on Regional Haze and the motion to stay can be found here.