EPA is Missing Their Own Climate Commitment Deadlines, Putting Millions of Americans at Risk

In response to a recent court filing in Appalachian Voices v. EPA (Case No. 20-2187) in which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges that it has pushed back its timeline for some of its Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs), Evergreen Action Power Sector Policy Lead Charles Harper released the following statement:

“EPA is unfortunately on a path to miss yet another deadline essential to meeting President Biden’s climate and environmental justice goals. A recent court filing in Appalachian Voices v. EPA shows that the agency is once again set to delay its rule limiting toxic water waste from power plants. Also known as the Effluent Limitation Guidelines rule, this standard is a key tool under the Clean Water Act that the EPA can, and must, use to regulate power plant pollution that runs into our waterways. 

“Earlier this year, Evergreen reviewed EPA’s progress on 10 multi-pollutant rules that are critical to addressing pollution in the power sector and found that they were lagging behind on the majority of them. With the new delay on the ELG toxic water rule, they are now falling behind on 9 out of 10 of these standards, and on track for only one. While investments from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can put us on track to slash climate-warming pollution by 40% over the next decade, the administration still needs to use every tool at its disposal to close that emissions gap of 10% to get us all the way to our critical climate goal. If EPA fails to accelerate its rulemaking timeline on this and other key power sector rules, they risk failing to close this pollution gap.

“Our power sector is the #1 industrial source of deadly air pollution that puts millions of Americans’ health at risk. The burden of this mass pollution seeping from our power sector disproportionately falls on Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. EPA must move swiftly to get these standards back on track. The pollution reductions achieved by the IRA are essential, but we know they will only get the administration part of the way in achieving President Biden’s climate and environmental justice goals. It’s up to EPA to go further faster to deliver on the president’s commitments.”

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Last month, Evergreen Action released Falling Behind: A Report Card on the EPA’s Progress on 10 Important Power Sector Rules, which reviewed EPA’s progress and called for the agency to move further, faster on regulations that will move the administration closer to its commitment of a 50% pollution reduction from 2005 levels by 2030, and a 100% transition to clean power by 2035.  You can read the full review of EPA’s progress, along with our recommendations here.

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