Judge Pushes Back On EPA Coal Regulations

A U.S. District Court Judge has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to begin tracking and evaluating the impact the Clean Air Act has had on coal mining and power plant jobs in the United States. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told Judge John Preston Bailey, it would take the EPA two years to devise a method to track the economic effects of the Clean Air Act. Bailey deemed this time frame insufficient, and set a July first deadline for the EPA to identify facilities that have been harmed by the regulations instituted by the Clean Air Act, and to identify facilities that may be at risk of closing or on the verge of reducing their workforce. In his ruling Bailey stated that this is something the EPA should have been doing throughout the implementation of the regulations. Bailey also gave the EPA until the end of 2017 to provide documentation on how they are evaluating changes in employment levels that may have resulted from the administration and enforcement of the Clean Air Act. As EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will leave that position in a few days, the Judges order will likely fall to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the EPA. Trump has promised to overturn EPA regulations that have hurt the coal industry during President Obama’s administration and Pruitt has repeatedly sued the EPA over those regulations.  Pictured: Gina McCarthy.

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