June 27, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 27, 2016 Contact: Judith Nemes (312) 795-3706
Environmental Law & Policy Center Commends Gov. Snyder for Withdrawing State of Michigan’s Challenges to Federal Mercury Pollution Reduction Standards
Attorney General Schuette Continues His Litigation to Allow More Mercury in Air and Water
Lansing, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is filing more litigation to challenge the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which is designed to reduce contamination of the Great Lakes, inland lakes and rivers, and protect children’s and maternal health. However, this time around, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has apparently withdrawn authorization for AG Schuette to file this lawsuit on behalf of the “State of Michigan.” So, AG Schuette late Friday filed litigation against the federal mercury pollution reduction standards on his own – or, as the caption on the lawsuit says: “Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on behalf of the People of Michigan.”
“The Environmental Law & Policy Center commends Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision to withdraw the State of Michigan from Michigan AG Bill Schuette’s continued litigation to delay sound mercury pollution reduction standards that will protect children’s health, clean air and safe water,” said Howard Learner, ELPC’s Executive Director.
“Mercury is a known neurotoxin that impairs children’s brain development and harms maternal health. It’s time for Michigan Attorney General Schuette to bring his litigation to an end and, instead, work hard to protect children’s health and safe drinking water supplies in Michigan. Consumers Energy and DTE have already installed pollution controls to comply with the mercury pollution reduction standards. The lessons learned from the Flint water contamination tragedy emphasize the importance of regulatory actions to reduce lead, mercury and other toxics in Michigan’s waters.”
“Attorney General Bill Schuette remains out of touch with the needs of Michiganders by submitting this new court filing once again,” said Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and an ELPC ally in the effort to move federal mercury standards forward. “We call on the Attorney General to remove the People of Michigan from this new lawsuit, as it’s clear that Schuette is not working in the best interest of Michiganders.”
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is now leading this new lawsuit without the State of Michigan in last Friday’s filing in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuit is likely to be combined with two previously-filed petitions for review of EPA’s supplemental finding that the MATS rule is appropriate and necessary. The court consolidated Murray Energy and the Anthracite Region Independent Power Products Association’s separate petitions. The 60-day deadline for filing petitions for review of EPA’s supplemental finding was June 24.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected AG Schuette’s attempt to immediately stay the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. In Friday’s filing, AG Schuette is now asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s supplemental finding that the MATS rule is appropriate and necessary.