The PJ Tatler

That Loud Smack You Heard Was a Federal Court Telling the EPA to Stop Messing With Texas

The EPA has been dealt yet another defeat in court. That it comes from a case involving Texas makes it even better.

The law is/was as follows: There are great restrictions on major sources of pollution, per law. But there are “minor sources” noted in the law as well, for which there are only the most minimal standards. Essentially this sort of pollution is left up to the states, except that they must comply with the minimal, sketchy requirements set by federal law.

In addition, the EPA has eighteen months to approve, or disapprove, a state’s updated plan as far as handling minor sources of pollution. States update their plans from time to time.

In the case just decided, the EPA missed that eighteen month deadline to approve or disapprove by three months.

Did I say three months? I meant three years. It decided to disapprove a plan Texas submitted four and half years ago.

Further, the EPA created, out of whole cloth, its own “regulations” for minor source pollution, deciding that it now housed within it a special Environmental Congress which may pass laws outside of the normal Constitutional framework, as long as they deal with pollution and are certified For the Children (TM).

Ace has more, including quotes from the ruling, at the link. Reading past the legalese, it’s quite a smackdown.

This is the third defeat that the out-of-control EPA has suffered in a week. On March 21, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA could not act as judge and jury in a case involving landowners and a nonexistent “wetland” on their property. On Monday, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that the EPA couldn’t stop a West Virginia mine. And now this ruling, which explicitly limits the EPA to the powers granted it by Congress. That part of today’s ruling may be the most profound and beneficial in the long run.