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EPA announces three additional public listening sessions on the rollback of the Clean Power Plan

On December 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced they will hold three additional public listening session on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CCP).  The announcement comes days after the EPA’s November 28 and 29 public hearings in West Virginia, where they received “overwhelming response,” according to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The proposed rule would repeal the CPP finalized in 2015 under the Obama Administration, which established the goal of reducing nationwide carbon emissions by 32 percent, as compared to 2005 levels, by 2030. Almost immediately after CPP was finalized, states and other entities challenged it in the courts, concerned that the CPP rules would require them to develop state plans without providing funding for states to carry out the mandate. As a result, in February 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily froze CPP’s implementation until lower courts could rule on the legal viability of CPP.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to review and rescind or revise CPP, which the EPA announced steps to fully repeal CPP in October. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia suspended lawsuits against CPP earlier this year to give EPA time to work through the rulemaking process to repeal CPP.

The public listening sessions will be held in San Francisco, Calif., Gillette, Wyo. and Kansas City, Mo., with details to come in the following weeks. The EPA is accepting public comments on the proposal to withdraw CPP until January 16, 2018 and can be submitted here.

NACo will continue to monitor developments around this and other regulatory actions from the Trump Administration to ensure that the needs and interests of America’s counties are reflected.