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EPA Exercises Enforcement Discretion for All Power Plants in Florida

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WASHINGTON (September 11, 2017) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it will exercise its enforcement discretion for all power plant facilities in Florida, allowing them to operate without meeting all pollution controls in order to maintain the supply of electricity to customers and critical facilities across the state as a result of Hurricane Irma. The no action assurance is temporary and will terminate on September 26, 2017.

This “no action assurance” letter was issued in response to a request from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and in concurrence with an emergency authorization FDEP issued on September 10, 2017, allowing electric generating utilities across the state to deviate from permit and certification requirements. On September 9, 2017, the Florida Emergency Response Team indicated that nearly all of the Florida peninsula will be impacted by Hurricane Irma. 

EPA policy allows the Agency to issue no action assurances in cases where it is necessary to avoid extreme risks to public health and safety and where no other mechanism can adequately address the matter. EPA believes that the exercise of enforcement discretion in these circumstances is in the public interest and will help address the emergency circumstances in Florida.

Under EPA’s no action assurance letter, the facilities must continue to exercise good air and water pollution control practices and comply with all other federal, state and local environmental laws.