LITTLE ROCK — Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a motion Tuesday asking a federal appeals court to stay the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan for reducing air pollution that limits visibility in Arkansas.
Rutledge asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis to stay a “regional haze” plan the EPA finalized in August. The agency created the plan after a federal judge ruled, in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club, that a plan is mandated by a federal law aimed at improving visibility at national parks and wilderness areas.
Rutledge filed a lawsuit challenging the plan in November.
“Without a stay of this unlawful plan, Arkansas, its citizens and our economy could suffer irreparable harm,” Rutledge said in a statement Tuesday.
“While I have urged the EPA to withdraw the plan completely, and I remain hopeful that once a new administrator is confirmed it will be, I have a duty to protect Arkansans from the agenda of liberal special interest groups that do not have the best interest of our state in mind,” she said.
Rutledge has said the plan has no basis in science or law and is an example of federal overreach.
Glen Hooks, director of the Arkansas Sierra Club, said in a statement, “Hundreds of Arkansans voiced their support for clean air protections when the regional haze plan was proposed. The plan will lead to better visibility in our parks and wilderness areas and, as a bonus, healthier air for Arkansans. Why our attorney general chooses to side with polluters and against Arkansans is a continuing mystery.”