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Web Date: December 23, 2008

EPA Exemption Declared Unlawful

Court strikes down rules on toxic releases during start-ups, shutdowns, and malfunctions
Department: Government & Policy

On Dec. 19, a federal court struck down EPA regulations that allowed refiners, chemical plants, and other industrial facilities to release large amounts of hazardous air pollution during start-ups, shutdowns, and malfunctions (SSMs).

Starting in 1994, EPA had allowed industrial plants to exceed their permitted pollution limits during SSMs. But in 2002 and 2003, EPA made changes to those regulations that alarmed a coalition of national and local environmental groups.

Those groups challenged . . .

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