From Greenwire (subscription required):
One of U.S. EPA's most controversial overhauls to the Clean Air Act program was deemed illegal today by a federal appeals court.This is huge. More later.
A three-judge panel from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously rejected EPA's changes to the New Source Review program. Judge Judith Rogers, lead author of the 20-page opinion, said EPA's August 2003 rule changes violated the air pollution law.
The ruling is a major victory for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) and the coalition of states, large and small cities and environmentalists that has opposed the Bush administration's air pollution policies. The groups sued EPA immediately after it completed the rules, and they scored an early victory in December 2003 when the court issued a temporary injunction that halted their implementation.
UPDATE: More from the Washington Post:
Scott H. Segal, a spokesman for a Washington-based coalition of power companies called the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, called the decision "a step backward in the protection of air quality in the United States," AP reported. According to the group's Web site, the Clean Air Act requirement in question "is threatening the reliability of our national electrical system and unnecessarily increasing the cost of power to American consumers and businesses, while providing no additional protection to the environment."We'll be keeping an eye on this.
The states that sued the EPA over the proposed rule change were New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. Backing them were officials representing the cities of Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco.
Technorati tags: Electricity, Energy, Politics, Coal, Environment, New Source Review, Technology