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New Greenhouse Gas Regs Begin In New Year

While most in Wyoming don’t like federal regulations of any kind  new EPA rules governing greenhouse gases will soon take effect in the face of the State’s self-imposed restrictions on the regulating process…Ktwo Radio’s,  Karen Snyder,  reports…

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Federal greenhouse gas regulating rules kick in next month.

The EPA’s Tailoring Rule includes rules applied to new or modified facilities that produce more than 75 thousand tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year.  That amount is significantly higher than first proposed.

Wyoming Department of Enviromental Quality Director, John Corra,  says,  “By picking that number they now don’t have these massive numbers of permits to issue they actually,  across the country,  have a more managable set of permits to issue and they’re really aimed at the very large sources,  for example,  factories and power plants and things of that nature.”

Greenhouse Gas Regulations Begin Through Tailoring Act
(Sean Gallup-Getty Images)

The job of regulation falls to the Feds,  because according to Corra, Wyoming Statute prohibits greenhouse gas regulation by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

State Representative,  Tim Stubsen, a Republican from Casper,  agrees,  “We have spectifically set out in law that greenhouse gases would not be regulated throught the DEQ.  That puts us in conflict with the EPA.  Really much of the issue is still up in the air, but the EPA has essentially said that if you’re not going to regulate greenhouse gases one of the results might be that we put on hold any development in Wyoming after the first of the year.”

Stubsen sees this as a form of blackmail by the federal government.

Conservation groups see it differently and welcome the opportunity to establish meaningful regulation, though some have filed suit opposing the relaxed standards.

The Wyoming Outdoor Council’s legislative liaison, Richard Garrett,  says the Outdoor Council doesn’t believe the Wyoming Statute was meant to be interpreted in this way.

“We think that that law was specifically related to the Kyoto protocol which of course was never adopted by the United States.   That said, we also think we could find a way at the legislature to craft a simple bill that would allow the DEQ to move forward on permitting greenhouse gas.”

In the meantime the Tailoring Act goes into effect on Jan 2nd and  DEQ Director Corra  points out that it faces many appeals and legal challenges.

He says initially the impact will be minimal but an additional permitting program that starts in six months means a greater reach for the regulations in the future.

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