Comment period begins for EPA’s controversial Clean Power Plan

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register today, marking the beginning of a 90-day comment period and likely opening the door for a round of lawsuits from those opposing the controversial document.

The plan — unveiled by President Barack Obama and the EPA in August — is a sweeping program designed to reduce the United States’ carbon emission by more than 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.

The plan sets emissions reductions goals for fossil fuel generating plants and will require individual states to establish plans for reducing their own emissions by September 2016. States must then comply with their own mandates by 2022.

The EPA said the plan is a necessary response to alarming trends regarding global climate change, with 14 of the 15 warmest years on record having occurred since 2000.

The Clean Power Plan was met with near-immediate opposition from 16 states, led by West Virginia, who, in a 14-page grievance addressed to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, argued that the program “unlawfully exploits Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act” in a letter dated August 5.

The State of Colorado then announced it too would file suit against the plan in September, but said it would wait until the plan was published in the Federal Register.

The Clean Power Plan is available for viewing on the Office of the Federal Register’s website.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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