Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Court Strikes Down Clean Air Mercury Rule Exemptions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated a 2005 EPA rule issued in February that would remove power plants from the Clean Air Act’s list of toxic sources – replacing it with a cap and trade regulatory scheme – to be in violation of the act. The Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) was set to go into effect in 2010. Power plants that failed to meet emission targets, under the rule, would have been allowed to buy credits from plants that did, rather than having to install their own mercury emissions controls.

CAMR was the first nation-wide control rule. Fourteen states, a number of Native American tribes and environmental organizations filed the suit. EPA is now obligated to develop maximum achievable control technologies, or MACT, standards for power plant mercury emissions. The three-judge panel unanimously agreed with the states that the EPA did not have the authority to exempt the power plants. (Pollution Engineering)

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