Health and Environmental Groups Defend Crucial Clean Power Plan in Court
WASHINGTON (October 27, 2015) –Nine leading public health and environmental organizations have stepped up to defend the landmark Clean Power Plan in the federal appeals court in Washington, saying the plan is a crucial step to curb the carbon pollution from power plants that drives dangerous climate change.
The groups today intervened in lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate plan addressing new and existing power plants, countering a group of coal companies, polluting power generators, and allied state attorneys general that sued last week to block the first-ever standards limiting power plant carbon pollution.
The intervenor groups include the American Lung Association, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Air Council, Clean Wisconsin, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Environmental Council and Sierra Club. Attorneys from Earthjustice and Clean Air Task Force are co-counsel.
“The Clean Power Plan will help reduce the growth of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thereby reduce the threats that climate change poses,” said the groups in court papers filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. “Delay, weakening, or invalidation of the Clean Power Plan would harm the organizations’ members by exacerbating the impacts of climate change.”
Further, they note that their members would similarly be harmed if the reductions in smog- and soot-forming pollutants that will result from implementation of the Clean Power Plan are lost. The groups’ members suffer from, and have family members and patients who suffer from, conditions such as asthma, other respiratory ailments, and heart problems, which are aggravated by these pollutants. People in low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by air pollution and climate change, they said.
The final Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register on October 23, launching a 60-day period to file lawsuits over the plan. In addition to the health and environmental groups, motions are expected by at least 15 state attorneys general, a group of utilities, cities and others united in support of the power plant carbon pollution limits.
The motion on existing power plants is here: http://docs.nrdc.org/legislation/files/leg_15102702a.pdf
The motion on new power plants is here: http://docs.nrdc.org/legislation/files/leg_15102701a.pdf