Issue Date: August 25, 2008
Court Overturns EPA Air Regulation
Last week, a federal appeals court struck down a 2006 EPA rule that limited states' ability to require industrial facilities to monitor air emissions. The case focused on a section of the Clean Air Act that requires chemical plants, power generators, and other large facilities to get permits, which spell out limits and conditions on their emissions, before they can operate. The now-overturned regulation prohibited state and local regulators, who issue the permits, from strengthening monitoring requirements beyond general ones agreed to by EPA and state governments. Environmental activists challenged the regulation, which EPA, backed by the American Petroleum Institute, defended. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2???1 that EPA's regulation "is contrary to the statutory directive that each permit must include adequate monitoring requirements." The decision is the latest in a series of decisions overturning air pollution regulations that were put in place by the Bush Administration but were found by federal courts to have violated the Clean Air Act (C&EN, May 5, page 34).
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