Energy. Environment. Economy.

Federal Court Throws Out EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. threw out new rules aimed at reducing smog and acid rain. The Cross-State Air Pollution rule created new limits on nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, and applied to pollution that crossed state lines. The rules would force aging coal-fired plants to either install new scrubbers or shut down. A significant number of these plants are also converting to natural gas.

The Lehigh Valley’s Portland Generating Station, operated by GenOn, has long been a source of smog for New Jersey. The company announced it would close the plant by 2015, due to the cost of complying with the new rules.

BusinessWeek has more on today’s ruling.

“A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today sided with more than three dozen challengers to the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which imposes caps on emissions for 27 states. The rule was put on hold by the court while it considered the legality of the regulation.

The court ordered the agency to enforce a 2005 rule known as the Clear Air Interstate Rule, until a viable replacement to the cross-state pollution rule is made.”

The 27 states include those that contribute a significant amount of air pollution to neighboring states. The court’s decision questions the EPA’s authority in enacting the provision, also known as the “Transport Rule.”

“Here, EPA’s Transport Rule exceeds the agency’s statutory authority in two independent respects. First, the statutory text grants EPA authority to require upwind States to reduce only their own significant contributions to a downwind State’s nonattainment. But under the Transport Rule, upwind States may be required to reduce emissions by more than their own significant contributions to a downwind State’s nonattainment.

To read the ruling, click here.


  • Bill Edelman

    This headline sucks. It should read: “Three-bastard panel of paid-off trolls sides with greedy pricks poisoning our air”

    • Jeffrey Ney

      Sorry Bill, We are not going to stand by and let the unconstitutional EPA destroy the wealth of the nation by making electricity so expensive we cannot compete in the global marketplace. We are not Europe, don’t want to be Europe, and if you want to go after REAL polluters, try China. Take your protest there. See how long it is before you are are jailed.

      • Michael Kenney

        This is a ridiculous comment. The air IS cleaner now than it was in the 1970s, when that European-style socialist Richard Nixon signed the EPA into existence. But, even as we have removed some pollutants, many dangerous ones remain. Anti-EPA zealots always try to pose the problem of one as ‘choose jobs or clean air/water’ or “choose electricity or your health”. These are false choices based on propaganda put out by for-profit parties who are really only thinking as far ahead as their next quarterly profit report. Sadly, those people have children who will also suffer the health consequences of bad air and water. It is possible to have clean air/water and a good economy, but only if entrenched for-profit people accept their responsibility to make it happen.

    • Jeffrey Ney

      Plus our air is 100 times cleaner than it was back in the early 70′s. Now take your hysteria somewhere else or turn off your power and live by example.

      • Maggie Henry

        you need to research methane and its environmental consequences and along the way, read some of the other facts about the toxic chemicals used by the industry and left in the environment forever. Just where did your “100 times cleaner” claim come from? And who are you to tell someone else to get out of the sand box and go home?

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