EPA to plan one hearing on coal rule

EPA to plan one hearing on coal rule
© Anna Moneymaker

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it will hold one hearing on its proposal meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The only planned hearing on the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule will take place Oct. 1 in Chicago, the EPA announced Monday.

The agency didn’t rule out the possibility of more hearings.

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The Obama administration, by contrast, held four hearings after it proposed the Clean Power Plan, the climate regulation that the ACE is meant to replace. When the Trump administration proposed repealing that rule last year, it held one hearing and three listening sessions.

EPA officials use regulatory hearings to gather input from the public and stakeholders, and the comments they receive are considered part of the official regulatory record.

The Sierra Club said the Trump administration and acting EPA head Andrew Wheeler are afraid of how the public will view their proposal.

“Given that Trump and Wheeler's proposal will result in upwards of 1,400 more premature deaths every year, it is quite clear that Trump and Wheeler are scared of the feedback they will get on their unpopular and illegal proposal from the American public,” Liz Perera, the group’s director of climate policy, said in a statement, referring to the EPA’s fatality estimate from comparing the ACE to the Clean Power Plan.

“The public deserves more than one chance to speak out about this deadly policy and we will make sure their voices are heard regardless of Andrew Wheeler's plans.”

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to hold at least one hearing on proposed regulations if requested.