Bob Simpson1 
Member since Jul 24, 2010


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Re: “Hark, Another Pulp Mill Lawsuit

To All:

I applaud CATs effort to hold EPA accountable when necessary. We agree with a portion of the claim Cat's will likely make should they proceed with filing a lawsuit, but a portion of their claim will likely be dismissed. Please find below our recap of Cat's letter to EPA.

What CATS is threatening is a lawsuit to compel EPA to review “new source performance standards” (NSPS) at pulp mills) for purposes of updating them periodically. NSPS rules can, but typically don’t, apply to a mill like the Samoa mill. This would take far too long to explain.

One caveat – though the proposed lawsuit is mainly about a violation of a timetable for reviewing and updating NSPS rules, they’ve thrown in a request for development of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions guidelines applicable to existing pulp mills. That’s a totally different subject. We don’t think there’s a basis for arguing that EPA has violated any timetable for creating GHG standards for either new or existing facilities, and if we are right that part of the claim will be rejected and we would be surprised if Cat's pursued it in court. Judges can only compel action by EPA if there’s a violation of an emissions standard or limitation or a non-discretionary duty to regulate, and absent a legal, and breached, deadline for promulgation of regulations, there’s no violation and hence no claim.

GHG emissions cannot and will not be ignored – California will start regulating them by 2012, from existing as well as new facilities, and it’s likely the Samoa mill will be a part of that. The Samoa mill is already planning for these new regulations.

Posted by Bob Simpson on 07/24/2010 at 9:58 AM

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