Governor Matt Mead, through the Wyoming Attorney General, has notified the Environmental Protection Agency that Wyoming will sue the agency for its failure to take action on a state plan for air quality regulation. The federal Clean Air Act required the EPA to act on Wyoming's plan for non-attainment new source review in November of 2012.
"Wyoming regulators worked hard to draft this plan and we are being responsible in providing leadership on air quality regulation. Now, more than a year past its mandatory deadline, the EPA has not acted. I feel it is important for Wyoming to stand up for its plan. We must also guard against the EPA opening itself up to a suit from another group and then settling with that group without consideration of Wyoming's position - locking Wyoming out of the process despite EPA's obligation to cooperate with us," Governor Mead said.
The state plan for non-attainment new source review provides a process for regulating and permitting new sources of emissions in a non-attainment area. Wyoming's plan incorporates federal standards, but Wyoming maintains leadership on the permitting by virtue of creating a plan. The State of Wyoming submitted its plan in May of 2011. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review and take final action on the state's plan within eighteen months of submission. The Upper Green River Basin is currently designated as a non-attainment area for ozone.
Wyoming has notified the EPA it will file a civil action by the end of January if the EPA does not act on the state plan before then.