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Appeals court blocks EPA plan addressing Oklahoma's regional haze

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has stopped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing its plan to reduce emissions from Oklahoma coal plants until judges can review it.
BY JAY F. MARKS Modified: June 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm •  Published: June 22, 2012

“It temporarily prevents the EPA from enforcing a federal plan that will raise utility rates for Oklahoma consumers,” Pruitt said. “The EPA exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act and we will continue to challenge that decision to preserve the ability of Oklahoma stakeholders to create an Oklahoma solution.”

The Sierra Club intervened in the case on the EPA's side. Whitney Pearson, associate organizing representative for the group's Beyond Coal campaign, said the Sierra Club was disappointed with the stay.

“This safeguard would go a long way to restore clean, healthy air to Oklahoma's communities,” Pearson said. “However, this is only a temporary setback, and we are optimistic that the safeguard is well supported by scientific and medical evidence, and that it will be upheld this fall after the court has the opportunity to review the merits of the case.”

Pearson called on OG&E to follow PSO's lead in retiring its Oklahoma coal plants.

The EPA said it would determine the “appropriate next steps” after reviewing the court's decision.