US Supreme Court Reinstates EPA Rule Targeting Interstate Air Pollution

By Joe Gullo

Published 04/29 2014 03:47PM

Updated 04/29 2014 03:53PM

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court reinstated an EPA rule that targeted interstate air pollution Tuesday. 

A press release says the rule would regulate air pollution from power plants in upwind states when those states fail to propose adequate plans to control air pollution that crosses state lines. The rule addresses the emission of two harmful pollutants, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, from power plants in 28 states. 

The measure was reinstated in a 6-2 decision. 

Local reaction to the decision:

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:
“The Supreme Court’s decision today reinstates a sensible EPA rule that will help stem the tide of interstate air pollution – soot and smog – blowing into New York, which will help protect our health and environment from harmful pollutants. These pollutants travel into New York from out-of-state sources – mainly power plants. The court’s decision recognizes that each state has the responsibility to prevent pollution from harming the air quality of its neighbors, and that the EPA must step in if necessary to ensure that obligation is met.”

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan (D): 
“This ruling is a victory in our fight to ensure healthy air for our citizens and a healthy economy for our businesses. For too long, New Hampshire has borne the health, environmental and economic cost of pollution caused by other states. I call on upwind states to make the modest investments necessary – investments New Hampshire made long ago – to prevent their pollution from affecting our state. The cost of removing an additional ton of pollution in downwind states, including New Hampshire, is estimated at between $10,000 to $40,000, compared to as little as $500 a ton in upwind states, where even some basic control technologies have not been installed.”

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Cross State Air Pollution Rule will lead to cleaner air in New York.  Our strategies to reduce emissions from power plants, factories, vehicles and other sources over the past decade have led to cleaner air across New York State.  Yet pollution continues to blow in from out-of-state sources.  Today’s decision will require polluting upwind sources to do their share, providing New Yorkers with cleaner, healthier air and helping to level the playing field for New York businesses.”

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