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Kentucky Petitions EPA to Reopen Public Comment for Clean Power Plan

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Kentucky regulators are petitioning the EPA to re-open the public comment period on the federal carbon dioxide rules that were finalized in June.

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet filed the petition Monday with the Environmental Protection Agency. It argues that the final version of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is so drastically different from the proposal — at least for some states, like Kentucky — that the agency should once again open it for public comment.

In the petition, Charles Snavely, the new secretary for the Energy and Environment Cabinet,  argues that the EPA’s methodology changed dramatically from the proposed rule to the final rule. The proposal also didn’t address issues like carbon dioxide leakage and a Clean Energy Incentive Program — initiatives that ended up in the final rule.

For this petition, Kentucky is relying in a provision of the Clean Air Act that if anyone objecting to an EPA rule can demonstrate that it was “impracticable” to raise the issue during the public comment period, the EPA will reconsider the rule.

“Many of these changes [between the proposed and final Clean Power Plan] are so dramatic and unanticipated that it would have been ‘impracticable,’ if not impossible, for the Commonwealth to raise objections about these changes during the public comment period,” Snavely said in the petition.

An EPA spokeswoman said in an email that the agency has received Kentucky’s petition and will review it.

“Requesting reconsideration of a final rule is a routine process outlined in the Clean Air Act. EPA has received a number of petitions asking for reconsideration of various aspects of the Clean Power Plan,” she said.

Kentucky is also part of a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Clean Power Plan.

Erica reports on environment and energy issues for WFPL, which run the gamut from stories about the region’s biodiversity to coal mine safety and pollution issues. In the name of journalism, she’s gone spelunking, tagged mussels and taste-tested bourbon. Erica moved to Louisville in June 2011 from Charleston, West Virginia, where she worked for the state’s public radio and television affiliate. Besides Kentucky and West Virginia, she’s lived in New Jersey, Minnesota and Illinois. She lives with her husband and son in Louisville.
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