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EPA expects 271 people to speak on Clean Power Plan repeal

Staff reports

The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — The Environmental Protection Agency expects at least 271 people to offer comments when it visits Charleston Tuesday and Wednesday regarding the Clean Power Plan.

That’s how many people have been given speaking slots, according to the preliminary speaker list released Nov. 22.

That list is already being revised, said Phil Smith, spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America. According to the preliminary schedule, the UMWA has two people scheduled to speak Wednesday, but they will actually speak Tuesday, Smith said.

“That’s going to be the extent of our testimony,” Smith said.

Unlike some groups representing interests in industry, environment or concerns, which have had several people sign up to speak, the UMWA has not had its members volunteer for comment, Smith said.

Murray Energy Corp., for example, has four speaking slots, including one for CEO Robert Murray. The West Virginia Coal Association has three, the Sierra Club four and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition three.

EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones said people attending the hearing will enter through the public entrances on the east or west wings of the Capitol and from there will be directed to the appropriate room or rooms.

The hearing begins each day at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

The EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan in 2015. It was immediately challenged by more than 150 government and private entities. The U.S. Supreme Court halted implementation. Last month, the EPA proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

The EPA is accepting written comments on the proposed repeal until Jan. 16.

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