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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority with a 2012 regulation limiting mercury emissions and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants because it refused to consider the costs involved in complying with the mandate.

In a 5-4 opinion, the court said that the EPA must consider the cost of an environmental regulation before deciding if it is “appropriate and necessary.” It left it to the EPA to decide how costs should be considered and sent the case back to the federal appeals court to decide whether the rule should remain in effect in the meantime.

The ruling, while a setback for the EPA, is unlikely to threaten its most significant climate change-related rule, the proposed Clean Power Plan, which would regulate carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. If finalized in August, the Clean Power Plan is widely expected to force coal-fired power plants to shutter and drastically reduce coal production across the U.S


 

Posted on: July 8, 2015, by : FAS SWFL