The Norman Transcript


July 20, 2013

Court rejects haze rule review



Officials at PSO, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, said the decision would prevent the need to install “several hundred million dollars” worth of anti-pollution equipment on generating facilities that are more than 30 years old, dramatically reducing costs PSO would seek to recover from ratepayers.

In June 2012, the appeals court blocked enforcement of the EPA rule regarding OG&E’s coal-fired plants pending its review of the case. The court’s decision lifts its stay order.

The haze rule was developed to help reduce haze and improve visibility at federally managed national parks and wilderness areas, such as the 59,000-acre Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Oklahoma.

In a five-page dissenting opinion, Judge Paul Kelly Jr. said he believes the EPA’s rejection of the state’s plan for meeting haze guidelines and implementation of its own “was arbitrary and capricious” and that the goals of the agency’s regional haze program “are purely aesthetic rather than directly related to health and safety.”

“There is no evidence this investment will have any effect whatsoever on air quality. It surely will, however, result in adverse changes to what Oklahoma ratepayers will pay for electricity,” Kelly said.

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