From the Institute for Energy Research:
The Regional Haze program requires states to submit to the EPA specific emissions controls plans for reducing haze and improving visibility. The Clean Air Act lets states take the lead in developing, implementing, and monitoring visibility in public parks and wilderness areas. In addition, EPA regulations describe the process by which states—not the EPA—determine which emission control technologies to impose on power plants near affected areas, known as Best Available Retrofit Technologies (BART). Federal courts have admonished the EPA twice for violating state authority over the Regional Haze program.
Defying statutory intent, the EPA inserts itself into the process of developing regional haze controls through lawsuits from environmental groups. In several cases, such groups have sued EPA alleging that the agency failed to perform its due diligence to review state Regional Haze proposals. Instead of defending the lawsuits, however, EPA settles the cases with self-imposed deadlines for considering the state proposals. Then, as the Chamber describes it, what EPA does next “is Washington politics at its worst.” On the eve of the self-imposed deadlines, EPA claims it could not approve the states’ plans due to “procedural problems.” But since states do not have enough time to correct the alleged problems, the agency claims it has no choice but to impose its preferred (and more costly) emissions controls.