The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 21, 2012

Appeals court strikes down EPA pollution rule

Attorneys general challenge validity

OKLAHOMA CITY — A U.S. Appeals Court Tuesday struck down a pollution rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, finding that the regulation violated federal law, and agreeing with a challenge filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and other attorneys general in a multi-state lawsuit.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled the EPA had exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act in its creation of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) by not allowing states the opportunity to meet regulations as provided under federal law.   

Oklahoma joined Nebraska, Florida, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina and Virginia to file the lawsuit against the EPA in September after Oklahoma was required to follow a new federal plan to reduce pollution in another state.

“The EPA violated the law and went against decades of precedent in denying states like Oklahoma the right to create a state solution. If allowed to stand, the cross-state pollution rule would have required Oklahoma to spend millions of dollars to retrofit power plants to address theoretical compliance issues in one county in Michigan,” Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.

“This regulation is yet another example of the current EPA administration’s activist approach to environmental policy and burdensome overregulation that accomplishes nothing more than harming ratepayers and businesses for the sake of more rule making. Thankfully, the court agreed with our position and validated our efforts.”

In Tuesdays opinion, the court ruled the “EPA’s Transport Rule violates the statute” and “did not allow the States the initial opportunity to implement the required reductions with respect to sources within their borders.”

In doing so, the court wrote, “the EPA departed from its consistent prior approach” and “violated the (Clean Air) Act. For each of those two independent reasons, EPA’s Transport Rule violates federal law. Therefore, the Rule must be vacated.”

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