Coalition cites critical need for rules in order to protect the public, environment and grow the economy
City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith announced that Philadelphia is joining a coalition of 24 states, cities and counties filing a motion to intervene to defend the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan” against legal challenge. The coalition’s motion to intervene in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit responds to suits that several states and industry groups have filed challenging the rule. The Clean Power Plan rule requires fossil-fuel power plants, the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation, to cut their emissions pursuant to the Clean Air Act.
“The City of Philadelphia is directly impacted by fossil-fuel power plants and their pollutants, which negatively affect air and water quality. The added concerns about carbon emissions and the impacts of climate change make the Clean Power Plan a necessary regulation for protecting the health and safety and quality of life of our residents,” said Solicitor Smith.
The EPA adopted the Clean Power Plan through a multi-year stakeholder process that drew heavily on the experience of states and utilities in reducing power plant greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our climate is changing and we must take action accordingly. The Clean Power Plan provides a sensible framework for transitioning towards cleaner power that will benefit Philadelphians, who suffer from the highest asthma rates in the country, and communities all across the county,” said Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia.
The finalization of the Clean Power Plan marks the culmination of a decade-long effort by states and cities to require mandatory cuts in the emissions of climate change pollution from fossil fuel burning power plants under the Clean Air Act. The Clean Power Plan, along with the companion rule on new, modified, and reconstructed power plants, will control these emissions by setting limits on the amount of climate change pollution that power plants can emit. The rule for existing plants is expected to eliminate as much climate change pollution as is emitted by more than 160 million cars a year – or 70% of the nation’s passenger cars.
In addition to the City of Philadelphia, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, the District of Columbia, the City of New York, Chicago, Boulder, and Broward County (FL) have all joined the coalition.