Governor Matt Mead says that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is skirting the law through a pattern of settling lawsuits after being sued by special interest groups. In a letter to the Administrator of the EPA, Gina McCarthy, Governor Mead criticized EPA’s proposed consent decree with the Sierra Club. The proposal is related to Wyoming’s plan for the small particulate matter air quality standard.

In 2008, Wyoming submitted its infrastructure plan for small particulate matter to EPA Region 8. The plan complied entirely with EPA’s infrastructure plan requirements at the time. Accordingly, the EPA found Wyoming’s plan to be complete on October 22, 2008. EPA then failed to take final action on Wyoming’s plan, even though the Clean Air Act required EPA to take such action within one year of finding the plan to be complete.

The governor said  while Wyoming’s plan languished,EPA rewrote the requirements. And in 2012 the Sierra Club sued the EPA. Wyoming is now having to look at new requirements. The governor said while the EPA was sitting on its hands with respect to Wyoming’s plan, EPA was also changing the requirements for infrastructure plans.