Another proposed rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the works, one that could target electricity companies in Oklahoma and across the nation.
The EPA announced this week and in a notice published Wednesday in the Federal Register said the new rule will require chemical, petroleum products and electricity companies to prove they have the necessary funds to pay for cleanup or reclamation efforts linked to their operations.
Even as the EPA is about to come under the control of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the EPA says its new rule falls under a section of CERCLA, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. Pruitt has filed numerous lawsuits against the EPA, accusing it over overreach through rules and regulations that he contends were not legal.
The rule targets the three industries holding them accountable and making sure they have the finances to handle disposal of hazardous substances, spills or cleanup of their industrial sites.
The publication on Wednesday stated, ” The announcement in this action is not a determination that requirements are necessary for any or all of the classes of facilities within the three industries, or that EPA will propose such requirements—rather, it is an announcement that EPA intends to move forward with the regulatory process. After that process, EPA will determine whether proposal of requirements for any or all of the classes of facilities within the three industries is necessary.”
The move in part stems from a 2014 lawsuit filed by Idaho Conservation League, Earthworks, Sierra Club, Amigos Bravos, Great Basin Resource Watch and Communities for a Better Environment demanding the courts issue financial responsibility rules for the hardrock mining industry and Chemical Manufacturing, Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing and Electric Power Generation. The EPA agreed and a court order was issued a year ago.