Environmental Quality Council Can’t Seek New Rules

AP 9-15,2015

A formal legal opinion issued by Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael says a state review panel doesn’t have authority to write environmental rules and regulations on its own.

Instead, the state Environmental Quality Council may do so only with a positive recommendation from the director of the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Occasionally groups ask the council to change or add to Wyoming’s environmental regulations. Department Director Todd Parfitt recently asked Michael to clarify whether the council could do that on its own or only with the recommendation of the department director.

Michael writes the council may approve rules and regulations or send them back to the department for more work but may not initiate rulemaking.

Council Chairman David Bagley says Michael’s opinion clarifies the council’s authority.