Court Reins in EPA on Cross-Border Air Pollution Rule
August 21, 2012 - 1:48 pm
A federal appeals court today overturned an Environmental Protection Agency rule in which the agency overreached its authority in regulating cross-border air pollution.
“With today’s decision, the EPA is now zero for four in court, including the lawsuit I filed as governor,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who called the ruling another step toward reining in the EPA. “These consistent decisions show that it’s past time for this EPA to step back and work with us as an ally – not an adversary – to achieve a balance between our environment and our economy.”
The court ruled that the E.P.A. had improperly required states “to reduce their emissions by more than their own significant contribution to a downwind state’s nonattainment,” and violated the Clean Air Act by imposing a federal plan on states rather than letting them offer their own proposals for compliance.
“I am especially pleased with this decision in particular because the court explicitly said that the EPA was wrong when it didn’t give states the chance to pass their own rules before the EPA imposed a federal plan. Common sense should tell the EPA that their strategy is wrong and it’s been proven futile,” Manchin said. “Working with the states will do a lot more to fix the environment and the economy than taking an adversarial stance.”
“I am pleased to see that the court has confirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded their statutory authority in issuing the Cross-State Air Pollution rule,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). “I offered a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval against this rule last year to protect the rights of states against this attempt by the EPA to raise energy costs and cut jobs at power plants. I will continue to use the resources at my disposal to fight against an out-of-control EPA overreach into the rights of states and the lives of citizens.”
House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-Texas) called the EPA rule “one of the Obama administration’s many job-killing regulations partly responsible for the country’s current economic weakness.”
“The Clean Air Act is ‘not a blank check for EPA’ to establish nonsensical and heavy-handed edicts on states like Texas,” Hall said.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), though, decried the ruling and the pollution he said was drifting into his state and needed to be regulated.
“Maryland, despite having some of the strictest clean air rules in the country, continues to suffer from dirty air – and the resulting harm to public health – because of pollution from other states,” Cardin said. “More than half of the smog in Maryland originates outside of our the state. Federal efforts are essential to protecting our communities from the damaging effects of air pollution.”
Via tweet, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) urged the administration to appeal the ruling. “As chair of
#CleanAir subcmte I’ll work w/ states+Admin to ensure all states do fair share cleaning up air,” he wrote.