CHARLESTON – The Public Service Commission of West Virginia filed objections Tuesday to new air quality emission standards proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It called them “unconscionable.”
In its 12-page filing of objections, the Commission warned that implementation of the proposed rules certainly would result in future litigation. Those proposed changes are in EPA rules on “strengthening effluent limitations guidelines and standards for electric generating point sources.”
The new rules are an “end run” around deficiencies in earlier EPA air quality standards and “will result in the closure of fossil fuel generating stations,” the PSC said.
The Commission said the earlier rule that set emission standards was invalidated by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2022 and the EPA withdrew the rule, saying it exceeded the EPA’s authority. This new proposal is the EPA’s response.
The Commission argued the new rules also exceed EPA’s authority. The new rules seek to require a narrower scope than the earlier one by providing restrictions for individual generation sources. However, they propose technology-based solutions using technology “not commercially available to implement.”
The proposed rules implementation would be “exorbitantly costly,” the Commission said. It also would endanger the reliable supply of electricity.
The Commission accused the EPA of an “unconscionable” attempt to change the rules by way of a “bait and switch tactic” that attempts to bypass the earlier U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating the previous rules.