Metro

Maura Healey fighting Scott Pruitt’s stay of EPA rule on emissions

Boston, MA -- 1/31/2017 - Attorney General Maura Healey announces that her office is taking action challenging President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff) Topic: 01healey Reporter:
Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
Attorney General Maura Healey.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is fighting efforts by Scott Pruitt, the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, to “halt regulation of leaks of greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants” tied to the oil and gas industry, her office said Tuesday.

In a statement, Healy’s press team said she lead a coalition of 14 attorneys general and the city of Chicago Tuesday in filing a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit brought by the Clean Air Council against Pruitt.

The motion was filed in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

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According to the news release, at issue is “the EPA’s unlawful administrative stay of a rule, finalized in 2016 (the 2016 Rule), that would prevent emissions of thousands of tons of the potent greenhouse gas methane,” and other pollutants “in facilities constructed after September 2015.”

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Pruitt wrote to industry groups in April saying that the EPA had decided to stay the rule.

In defending the move at the time, he said in a statement that “American businesses should have the opportunity to review new requirements, assess economic impacts and report back, before those new requirements are finalized.”

Healey, in her own statement Tuesday, took a dimmer view of Pruitt’s actions.

“I am working with my colleagues across the country to take immediate action to defend these critical regulations and ensure that the EPA does not roll back the progress we’ve made to protect our planet,” Healey said.

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Top state prosecutors from Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington joined Healey in Tuesday’s legal motion, her aides said.

Material from Reuters was used in this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.