Governor Matt Mead asked the Attorney General to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's decision that rejected part of the state's plan for reducing regional haze. Today, Wyoming filed suit in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to pursue the challenge. At the same time, Wyoming has asked the agency to reconsider its decision. The regional haze program is intended to address visibility concerns.
"Wyoming put forward a strong plan for reducing regional haze. The EPA should have recognized state primacy and deferred to our leadership on this matter. EPA did neither, and I felt it necessary to have the Attorney General file suit," Governor Mead said. "This is a visibility issue. Wyoming already has some of the clearest air in the nation. EPA's plan does not noticeably improve air visibility, compared to Wyoming's plan, but EPA's plan will cost far more to Wyoming businesses and ratepayers."
The EPA's final decision would require new and different emissions controls for a number of Wyoming facilities. This would cost hundreds of millions of dollars above the costs associated with the plan put forward by Wyoming, which is both federally compliant and sensible. Wyoming's plan accomplishes the goal to improve viewsheds. Already Wyoming utilities have spent millions upgrading power plants, which has brought about emissions reductions.