WASHINGTON, DC — Two U.S. Senators announced joint hearings and the attorneys general of nine states from the Northeast stated they would challenge any attempt by the Bush administration to relax Clean Air Act rules for older coal-fired power plants.

According to the Washington Post, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), and White House are working on proposed changes that would allow plants to upgrade their operations without having to install up-to-date pollution control equipment as mandated under the current rules.

Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and James Jeffords (I-VT), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said they would hold joint hearings to look into the potential rule changes and their environmental and health impact.

The state attorneys general, who met in Washington, declared that they would sue to stop the rule revisions, and said that the EPA may have violated the law by not including states in the review process.

Publication date: 01/07/2002