Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Clean Air Interstate Rule Reinstated By Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed (on 12-23-08) its July decision to vacate the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which requires 28 mostly Eastern states to reduce smog-forming and soot producing emissions carried long distances by wind currents. In July the court ruled that EPA had overstepped its authority by instituting the CAIR. The court was concerned that America would go without a clean air law for too long without CAIR. The court did not give a deadline to come up with new regulations but until EPA responds, regulated sources will have to comply with CAIR.

This is just more complexity to unhealthy outdoor air mitigation. Legislation that was rejected by Congress would have solved this situation and CAIR will still not stand up to legal scrutiny. So Congress will have to pass the equivalent of President Bush's Clear Skies Initiative, except this time it will have a Democrat stamp on it. This merry-go-round of litigation is completely frustrating for the Center. Now it will be another ten years before some sort of certainty is accomplished in this area. And the Clear Skies Initiative would have been implemented by 2018, about the same timeframe we will end up with anyway. (Environment News Service)

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