DC Circuit Stays Pollution Rule

By December 31, 2011Energy, Regulations

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a stay of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). This action will stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from enforcing this rule until the DC Circuit has completed full consideration of the legal challenges against it.

The EPA issued the CSAPR in July 2011. The rule replaces the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) that the D.C. Circuit determined was unlawful in 2008 and would implement a portion of the Clean Air Act that prohibits states from allowing emissions of pollutants in amounts that will contribute significantly to air quality problems in other states. The rule would require power plants in the middle and eastern portions of the U.S. to reduce emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particle pollution.  It also sets up an emissions trading program.  Had the court not granted the stay, the rule would have taken effect on January 1, 2012, an unprecedented short period of time between the finalization of the rule and its implementation.

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