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Settlements Reached With EPA To Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Power Plants And Refineries

CONTACT: Thea Schwartz, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3186

December 23, 2010

Settlement of two Clean Air Act lawsuits by Vermont and other plaintiffs against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commit the federal agency to address greenhouse gas emissions from two of the nation’s largest stationary emitters, power plants and petroleum refineries. "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is imperative to protecting Vermonters and the environment,” Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell said. "These two settlements commit EPA to issue rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the two of the largest categories of stationary sources of global warming pollution," Attorney General Sorrell added.

Vermont, along with eleven other states and environmental groups, sued EPA to compel it to issue New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants. In addition, Vermont, along with twelve other states and environmental groups, brought suit against EPA to force it to issue NSPS for greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing petroleum refineries.

Under the power plant settlement, EPA must propose NSPS for new sources and propose emission guidelines for existing sources by July 26, 2011 and promulgate the NSPS and emission guidelines by May 26, 2012. Under the petroleum refineries settlement, EPA must propose NSPS for new sources and propose emission guidelines for existing sources by December 10, 2011 and promulgate the NSPS and emission guidelines by November 10, 2012.

According to their terms, both settlements provide for the opportunity for notice and public comment before becoming final.

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