Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | December 29, 2008

Environmental attorney Sanders says Clean Air Act Interstate Rule to remain in effect until new rules are implemented by EPA.

In a surprise move, a federal appellate panel ruled that U.S. EPA regulations that limit certain air pollutants from coal-fired electric generating power plants will remain in effect until new administrative rules are drafted by EPA.  Coal powered plants are located in 28 different states, including Kentucky.

 

The rules at issue are known as the Clean Air Act Interstate Rule.  These regulations attempt to limit the amount of certain air pollutants that are carried by the wind across state lines.  The intent of the rules is to reduce acid rain falling downwind coal power plants.   

 

The three-judge panel of the court in Washington unanimously struck down the same regulations in July 2008, saying U.S. EPA went beyond its legal authority in 2005 when it created the Clean Air Interstate Rule.  The appellate court still believes the rules are legally flawed, but apparently believe something is better than nothing in matters dealing with air pollution from coal power plants.  Thus, the flawed rules will remain in effect until the EPA redrafts them.

 

However, the appellate panel rejected a request by several states to set a deadline for EPA to revise the rules.  Here is Christmas surprise contained in a 4-page opinion on rehearing.  The 60-page July 11th opinion is here.  This opinion originally vacated the same rules.

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