The EPA is set to release the final rules of its Clean Power Plan next week, and will delay the start of the interim compliance period by two years to 2022 to give states more time to prepare, media reports Wednesday said.
The New York Times and Washington Post both reported the planned delay of the compliance period, citing anonymous sources and an E&E article cited a timeline posted on the EPA’s website that was last modified on July 24 but withdrawn after E&E journalists asked the EPA about it.
“You’re going to see a final rule that is in many ways stronger than the proposed rule, but at the same time gives states the flexibility they need,” one White House official told the New York Times.
The demand in the draft regulations that states must begin meeting interim targets as early as 2020 has been among the most contentious parts of the Clean Power Plan, with many state officials saying it was too soon.
The final deadline for states to submit their plans for how they will reach their targets will also delayed by a year to mid-2018, the newspapers reported. Under the draft rules released last year, states would have to submit plans by mid-2016, with the option to postpone it by a year if they took certain decisions including linking with other states.
By offering states more time to prepare, the EPA is hoping to fend off some of the fiercest criticism against the plan, which is likely to suffer through years of legal battles as Republicans say it is bureaucratic over-reach.
The final rules are also expected to make it easier for states to use market-based instruments to meet their emission targets under the plan, either individually or in groups, the newspapers said.
The timeline cited by E&E suggested the EPA would publish the final version of the Clean Power Plan on August 3.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org