Turns out tha the Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA) isn't subject to the fiat of the Arizona Legislature, and was prepared to "cut out the middle man," aka the Arizona Department of Enviromental Quality (ADEQ). The State of Arizona, seeing the likelihood of unfettered direct oversight of individual projects by the EPA, especially significant in rural Arizona, blinked.
From the Arizona Republic, written by Shaun McKinnon -
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will directly enforce new greenhouse-gas rules in parts of Arizona after the state refused to submit its own program for controlling the pollutants.Look for something from the incoming legislature to attempt to short stop this move. Not sure what will work, though.
The new rules, which take effect today, add greenhouse gases to the list of pollutants covered under air-quality permits and will eventually require the largest polluters, mainly industrial operations, to reduce emissions.
Arizona accused the EPA of overstepping its authority in regulating greenhouse gases and said the state would not spend its limited resources on rules that run counter to state policy and might not survive challenges in Congress and the courts.
But the state reluctantly agreed to let the EPA impose the federal plan for now because, had the state balked, the EPA could have blocked construction or expansion of projects that need the air permits, including future power plants.
Some states, including Arizona, will likely continue to oppose the EPA's role in regulating greenhouse gases but will allow the federal agency to enforce the rules to preserve the economic value of projects that need permits, [Executive director of the Washington-based National Association of Clean Air Agencies Bill] Becker said.