Supreme Court Strikes Down EPA Pollution Rules

The Guardian: “The US supreme court struck down new rules for America’s biggest air polluters on Monday, dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to set limits on the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into the air, lakes and rivers.”

“The 5-4 decision was a major setback to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and could leave the agency more vulnerable to legal challenges from industry and Republican-led states to its new carbon pollution rules.”

Vox: “The mercury rule will stay into effect for the time being, but the EPA will need to reconsider it in the months ahead, taking costs more fully into account. In his opinion, Scalia remanded the decision back to the DC Circuit Court with this guidance: ‘EPA must consider cost — including cost of compliance — before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary. It will be up to the Agency to decide (as always, within the limits of reasonable interpretation) how to account for cost.'”

“Now, we will have to see whether the DC Circuit Court simply orders the EPA to carry out additional analyses — or decides to strike down the rule altogether. Even if the rule does get struck down, however, the practical impact on mercury pollution may be relatively limited.”

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