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Canary Coalition Calls for Mobilization to
Reverse EPA's "Routine Maintenance" Ruling

On August 27th, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took an action that has been widely anticipated for more than a year by industry and environmental groups alike. EPA has finalized a rule change that redefines "routine maintenance" in the New Source Review (NSR) provision of the Clean Air Act for factories, refineries and power plants. This action will allow for the perpetuation of grandfathered status for thousands of polluting industries across the country, and will almost certainly result in higher levels of emissions from smokestacks. These industries can now replace up to 20% of each facility every year without having to install modern emission control systems. After five years a factory or power plant can be completely rebuilt and these upgrades would fit the new definition of "routine maintenance".

This action by the EPA is illegal according to many experts in constitutional law. The EPA has clearly disregarded the legislative intent of the New Source Review provision of the Clean Air Act. The intent of the law is that grandfathered power plants and factories would all eventually be brought up to modern emission control standards as the plants themselves were modernized and expanded. This new rule change negates that trend creating grandfathered status in perpetuity. Only an act of Congress can legally redefine the provisions of a law in such a sweeping manner. But, unless the EPA's action is successfully challenged in court, or overturned by Congressional action, the new rule will stand.

The Canary Coalition intends to mobilize all its resources, contacts and energies to overturn this illegal EPA action.

Under Section 10 of the NC Clean Smokestacks Act, North Carolina state officials are obligated to use all available means to protect our state from air pollution originating elsewhere. This EPA ruling clearly threatens North Carolina's air quality and should be directly and immediately challenged by our state officials by filing a petition for review with the US Court of Appeals

We call upon North Carolina city and town councils, county governments and other local officials to send resolutions and letters to the NC Attorney General's office urging a lawsuit be filed against the EPA's decision. Further, we urge local government entities to consider filing petitions for review, independently, with the US Court of Appeals, against the EPA's action.

We call upon the NC Division of Air Quality to advise the Attorney General's office to take immediate legal action against the EPA's decision.

We call upon the Governor of North Carolina to direct the Attorney General to take immediate legal action.

We call upon the Attorney General of North Carolina to immediately state its intent to challenge the legality of the EPA's "Routine Maintenance" ruling by filing a petition for review with the US Court of Appeals.

We call on the citizens of North Carolina to advise their state government officials that they are responsible for performing their duties under section 10 of the NC Clean Smokestacks Act. North Carolina is obligated to legally challenge the "routine maintenance" change to the New Source Review provision of the Clean Air Act.

Further, we call on all members of North Carolina's congressional delegation to co-sponsor legislation that will overturn the "routine maintenance" rule change. This legislation should include an investigation into the mis-use of power by the EPA and the current administration in over-stepping its constitutional authority by illegally altering congressional law and endangering public health under the heavy influence of large industrial political campaign donations.

Following is a list of officials to contact in North Carolina:

The Honorable Governor Michael F. Easley
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
1-800-662-7952 valid in North Carolina only
(919)733-4240, or (919)733-5811.
 Fax: (919)715-3175 or (919)733-2120

 

NC Office of  Attorney General Roy Cooper
North Carolina Department of Justice
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602-0629
e-mail: agjus@mail.jus.state.nc.us
Telephone: (919) 716-6400
Fax: (919) 716-6750
Secretary Bill Ross
NCDENR
1601 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1601
919-733-4984
FAX:  919-715-3060
Senator Elizabeth Dole
403 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3301
Telephone (202) 224-6342
Fax (202) 228-1339

Senator John Edwards
http://edwards.senate.gov
United States Senate
225 Dirksen Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Telephone (202) 224-3154
Fax (202) 228-1374
Frank W. Ballance-District 1
http://www.house.gov/ballance
2440 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3301
Telephone (202) 225-3101
Bob Etheridge-District 2
http://www.house.gov/etheridge
1533 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3302
Telephone (202) 225-4531

 

Walter B. Jones-District 3

422 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3303
 Telephone: (202) 225-3415

 

David E. Price-District 4
http://www.house.gov/price
2162 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3304
Telephone: (202) 225-1784
Richard Burr -District 5
http://www.house.gov/burr
1526 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3305
Telephone: (202) 225-2071

 

Howard Coble-District 6
http://www.house.gov/coble
2468 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3306
Telephone: (202) 225-3065
Mike McIntyre-District 7
http://www.house.gov/mcintyre
228 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3307
Telephone: (202) 225-2731
 
Robin Hayes-District 8
http://www.hayes.house.gov
130 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3308
Telephone: (202) 225-3715

 

Sue Wilkins Myrick-District 9
http://www.house.gov/myrick
230 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3309
Telephone: (202) 225-1976
Cass Ballenger-District 10
http://ballenger.house.gov
2182 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3310
Telephone: (202) 225-2576
Charles H. Taylor-District 11
http://www.house.gov/charlestaylor
231 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3311
Telephone: (202) 225-6401 
Melvin L. Watt-District 12
http://www.house.gov/watt
2236 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3312
Telephone: (202) 225-1510
Brad Miller - District 13
http://www.house.gov/bradmiller
1505 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3313
Telephone: (202) 225-3032
Fax: (202) 225-0181

*The Canary Coalition is working on the local, state and federal level to raise public awareness and mobilize public support for policies that will result in clean air for all those who breathe.  If you would like to join or contribute to the Canary Coalition online please go to this donation link.  Thank you.

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