It is vitally important that the Environmental Protection Agency rely on the best possible science to ensure that we have clean air and clean water. I believe that the EPA’s refusal to factor in the most recent science hurt our community’s efforts to fight TEP’s permit for the 10 RICE gas-fired engines. And now the EPA is proposing a new rule that would further restrict the agency’s ability to rely on the best available science!
I recently received a response from the Pima Department of Environmental Quality regarding the public comments submitted on TEP’s permit to install the 10 RICE gas-fired engines in Tucson. I want to thank the members of Sustainable Tucson, the Sierra Club, and other community members who took the time to go on record regarding this important issue. While our letters didn’t result in PDEQ rejecting TEP’s permit, we did slow down the process. (It took five months for them to review the comments and approve it.) And they did revise a number of permit conditions including: annual monitoring and reporting to provide reasonable assurance of compliance with the carbon monoxide emission limits for the RICE, and a condition that they would decommission the old generators before the new engines are installed.
Within 30 days after service of this notice announcing the final permit decision, any person who filed comments on the proposed permit for the TEP Irvington Generating Station or participated in any of the public hearings for the TEP Irvington Generating Station may petition EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) to review any condition of the final permit.
One of the problems our community faced in responding to how TEP’s permit complied with PDEQ’s code was the absence of carbon dioxide standards. That’s right! The code doesn’t include carbon dioxide standards because Scott Pruitt put a hold on the Clean Power Plan. This is just one example of how vital it is for the EPA rely on the best available science when making decisions!
Now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule that would restrict the agency’s ability to rely on the best available science. According tho the Union of Concerned Scientist, this is nothing more than an attempt to undermine the EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment. Our air, water, and health all rely on the EPA using the best available science in decision making.