Air pollution rule gets ax

EPA’s cross-state pollution regulation overturned by U.S. Court of Appeals

A federal appeals court overturned the Environmental Protection Agency‘s cross-state air pollution rule on Aug. 21.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit voted 2-1 against the EPA’s regulation, which aimed to reduce downwind pollution from power plants in more than two dozen states, according to The Associated Press. Introduced by the EPA last year, the regulation was scheduled to go into effect in January 2012, but a handful of states and several large power companies sued to prevent its adoption. In December 2011, the appeals court agreed to suspend the regulation for further review.

“It is not our job to set environmental policy,” wrote Judge Brett Kavanaugh, an appointee of former President George W. Bush. “Our limited but important role is to independently ensure that the [EPA] stays within the boundaries Congress has set. EPA did not do so here.”