Court Overturns EPA Coal Regulation

Meant to reduce emissions in 28 states

Ryan O'Hanlon

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 regulation requiring coal-fired power plants to reduce certain harmful emissions. The “good neighbor rule” was designed to protect Eastern residents from polluters in neighboring states. In a 2-1 decision, the District of Columbia’s U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) exceeded the EPA’s mandate and violated state’s rights. The regulation required states to “significantly improve air quality by reducing power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particle pollution in other states.” In total, 28 states would have been required to reduce sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. The court ordered that the regulation be revised and, in the meantime, told the EPA to administer the 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule, which CSAPR was meant to replace. The EPA estimated that the regulation would have prevented more than 30,000 premature deaths and hundreds of thousands of illnesses annually. The cost to power plants was estimated at about $800 million per year.

Via The Guardian