The EPA, as this blog has documented, has been on the losing end of a number of recent federal court decisions about the extent of the agency’s powers. Now comes yet another judicial decision challenging the EPA.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has rejected EPA’s aggressive approach to implementing what is known as the “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule”, which requires States to cut pollution emissions where there are other States downwind which are being subjected to the wafting pollution. The Rule, as pursued by EPA, among other things allowed EPA to impose federally-mandated pollution-reduction plans on upwind States without giving the States the opportunity to reduce pollution on their own.
Consistent with a prior appellate court ruling, the Court in this case said that the Clean Air Act requires thatStates devise their own implementation plans to curb air pollution and that the federal government has the authority only to judge the success of the State plans—not to step in and write a federal implementation plan.
The case is EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, No. 11-1302. You can find the opinion at http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/19346B280C78405C85257A61004DC0E5/$file/11-1302-1390314.pdf.
Adapted from my column for the Valley News Group.