Republican Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is not one to shy away from a fight. On Thursday, she took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head on in a lawsuit that was first reported by The Daily Caller.
At the center of the dispute is a 2015 revised ozone standard issued by the EPA which required each state to develop their own implementation plan (SIP) for meeting air quality standards. One provision, known as the “Good Neighbor” requirement, mandated that states must prevent emissions from contributing to other states failing to meet their respective air quality goals.
In 2019, Arkansas proposed an SIP that was based on the best available data at the time, and which complied with EPA guidance in effect under the Trump administration. However, as recently as this week, the EPA formally rejected Arkansas’s SIP claiming it did not adequately protect against emissions from Arkansas causing neighboring regions such as Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston to fail in meeting air quality targets.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded strongly to the EPA’s disapproval of her state’s plan saying that they are threatening “dozens of Arkansas businesses and thousands of Arkansas jobs” with their big government overreach. She further noted that during her inaugural address she promised to push back against federal interference in her state, and now has asked Attorney General Griffin to sue the EPA on behalf of Arkansans who may be harmed by these decisions.
The Governor’s bold stance shows just how determined she is when it comes to protecting her constituents from what she sees as unwarranted federal meddling into local affairs. Not only does Gov. Sanders intend to see this case through court but she also hopes that it will serve as a warning for any future attempts by agencies like the EPA to override state authority without due cause or consideration for local interests and industries - don't mess with Sarah!