Big ‘nay’ for cap-and-trade

Environmental groups were issued a big win last week after a federal court ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had violated the Clean Air Act of 2005 when the agency exempted coal plants from certain emissions controls.

The finding was handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which ordered the EPA to rewrite how utilities handle mercury and other toxins, reported Reuters. Fishing has been banned due to mercury contamination in many waterways throughout the nation. The toxin is known to cause neurological disorders in children.

California was among 14 states that had sued the federal agency over a proposed cap-and-trade system, which would allow some plants to emit the same level of pollutants. John Walke, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Reuters the ruling is another step in the fight against coal-fired power plants.