AG Files Motion to Intervene in Settlement between EPA and Environmental Group
‘Friendly Lawsuit’ Will Have Significant Impact on Oklahoma Consumers and Businesses; State Not Allowed to Intervene
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Wednesday filed a motion in federal court in Denver to keep the EPA from settling a lawsuit with an environmental group over emission standards in Oklahoma and other states without allowing input from Oklahoma officials.
The settlement of Wild Earth Guardians’ lawsuit would have significant impact on Oklahoma consumers and businesses. However, the state has not been given the chance to offer input on the settlement. The Attorney General’s motion to intervene asks the federal court to prevent the EPA from settling the lawsuit so that Oklahoma can be a part of settlement proceedings.
“This appears to be another example of the EPA using ‘sue and settle’ tactics to encourage a friendly lawsuit with the goal of imposing the agency’s anti-fossil fuel agenda on the states,” General Pruitt said.
“States are given primary authority under the Clean Air Act to design and implement plans to deal with these issues. To advance their agenda, an out-of-state environmental group is trying to use the courts to force the EPA to reject Oklahoma’s plan to deal with emissions standards in favor of a federal plan. Such ‘regulation through litigation’ undermines the rule of law by subverting due process for states and others affected by these settlement agreements. The Attorney General’s Office will continue to challenge the EPA and other federal agencies when they seek to impose an agenda or expand their authority beyond what’s provided under the law. We hope the court grants our request to intervene so that we can protect the interests of the citizens and State of Oklahoma.”
Wild Earth Guardians’ lawsuit asks the federal court to order the EPA to take action on Oklahoma and other states to enforce emission standards for nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Wild Earth Guardians claims Oklahoma and other states have failed to submit state implementation plans to address air quality standards relating to NO2 emissions. The environmental group is asking the court to force the EPA declare the states out of compliance and allow the EPA to implement federal implementation plans.
In January 2011, Oklahoma submitted monitoring data to the EPA that showed all areas of the state were in compliance with the federal nitrogen dioxide standard. Since 2011, Oklahoma has been preparing its state implementation plan, which demonstrates how the state will continue to maintain compliance with the NO2 standard. The Oklahoma plan was made available for public comment in January.
Oklahoma Motion to Intervene.pdf
Motion to Intervene Supporting Affidavit.pdf