Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today sent the following letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 Administrator Dr. Al Armendariz concerning the EPA's rejection of Oklahoma's proposed Regional Haze State Implementation Plan. The letter expresses significant concern that EPA's decision would result in higher utility costs for consumers and less flexibility for Oklahoma utilities. Although EPA plans to hold a public hearing on the federal implementation plan in Oklahoma City, Sen. Inhofe is requesting an additional hearing in the city of Tulsa.
Full text of letter below
March 17, 2011
Dr. Al Armendariz
Environmental Protection Agency Region 6
Fountain Place 12th Floor, Suite 1200
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202-2733
Re: Oklahoma's Regional Haze State Implementation Plan
Dear Administrator Armendariz,
I am writing concerning the EPA's rejection of Oklahoma's proposed Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP). As you are aware, I have been concerned for some time that EPA Region 6 would deny Oklahoma's proposed Regional Haze SIP, impose costs of nearly $2 billion on Oklahoma's utilities, and ignore a promising long-term regional haze plan supported by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) and local utilities. EPA has assumed the State's role under the Clean Air Act and has simply chosen not to exercise its discretion to approve the Greater Reasonable Progress Alternative Determination. I continue to believe denying Oklahoma's proposed SIP and the Greater Reasonable Progress Alternative Determination will result in higher utility rates for Oklahoma consumers and less flexibility for Oklahoma utilities.
Since, one of the factors for determining BART applicability is cost effectiveness, I would like EPA's review and analysis of the cost information which ODEQ and the utilities submitted.
Although I understand that EPA will hold a public hearing on the federal implementation plan in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, April 13, 2011, I request an additional public hearing in Tulsa. This is a matter which has received the attention of leaders throughout the state, and I believe an additional public hearing in Tulsa is necessary.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to direct your staff to contact Ryan Jackson at 202-224-0152 or George Sugiyama at 202-224-0146. I look forward to your response.