EPA Rejects Request to Add Coal Mines to List of Stationary Sources of Air Pollution, Citing Overwhelming Workload (April 30, 2013)

            From National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA)

EPA denied a request from environmental groups to list coal mines as a category of stationary sources under Clean Air Act section 111(b)(1)(A), which would have required EPA to propose federal new source performance standards for coal mines within one year of listing. The environmental groups – WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Integrity Project and the Sierra Club – had sought listing of coal mines because they argued that air emissions from coal mines are “air pollutants” as defined in Clean Air Act section 302(g) and thus EPA should regulate these emissions. The environmental groups were primarily interested in EPA regulation of methane emissions from coal mines. In rejecting the petitioners’ request, EPA did not disagree with the argument that coal mines emit air pollutants, including methane. Instead, EPA said that it is taking a “common-sense, step-by-step approach” to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions using the most cost-effective measures first. It cites the agency’s voluntary programs, mobile source GHG regulations and proposed regulations of carbon emissions from new power plants. “A decision to list and then promulgate standards for the coal-mines category would divert resources from other higher-

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priority activities EPA is currently undertaking. … At this time and in light of the [budgetary and workload] constraints discussed above, we do not conclude that the EPA’s proper course of action is to reallocate resources from the agency’s other priorities and actions” in order to list coal mines as stationary sources of air pollutants. For further information, click here.

From the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, (NACAA), at
444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 307 Washington, DC 20001  
Tel: (202) 624-7864/Fax: (202) 624-7863 4cleanair@4cleanair.org 
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