Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona's Sixth District, today decried the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement costly and unnecessary air pollution controls at the AEPCO Apache Generating Station near Benson, the APS Cholla Power Plant near Joseph City, and the SRP Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns. The move by the EPA would require the installation of more than $500 million in equipment to regulate "regional haze," or visibility at national parks and wilderness areas. These upgrades will do little to actually improve visibility.
In Arizona, this latest overreach by the EPA is unfortunately only the latest example of the EPA circumventing the state's authority to regulate regional haze. In early 2011, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality submitted a regional haze plan for approval. EPA ignored the state submitted plan and was subsequently sued by environmental advocates. Unfortunately for Arizona residents, EPA agreed via consent decree to usurp the state's role and finalize a severe federal regional haze plan that stands to increase Arizona residents' electricity bills.
"By grossly overreaching their authority and refusing to work with Arizona on the State-submitted plan, the EPA is now shouldering Arizona's residents with increased utility costs that could have been avoided," said Flake.
"What's worse, these unnecessary and exceedingly expensive upgrades will do little to actually improve air quality in our national parks -- which is their stated goal."