Tuesday, December 23, 2008

News flash: federal appeals court backpedals on critical power plant standards

This could prove a holiday gift to breathers.

A federal appeals court is backpedaling on its earlier decision to vacate critical EPA rules designed to reduce power plant emissions – the so-called Clean Air Interstate Rule. (CAIR)

In a ruling this morning (see at http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200812/05-1244-1155490.pdf ), the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has reversed its earlier decision that vacated CAIR.

The court said it was persuaded by EPA (and others, including environmental groups) that vacating the rule “would sacrifice clear benefits to public health and the environment while EPA fixes the rule.”

Instead, the court now has remanded the case back to EPA “without vacatur” so the agency “can remedy CAIR’s flaws.” CAIR will remain in effect until EPA issues new rules.

We urge the EPA to move swiftly to issue new rules that adequately protect public health.

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