Issue Date: February 16, 2009
EPA Plans New Rule On Power-Plant Mercury
EPA says it plans to craft a new rule specifying the control technology that coal-fired utilities would have to install to reduce emissions of mercury. The Obama Administration announced this move in early February when it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss a case about power-plant mercury emissions. That lawsuit involves a 2005 Bush EPA regulation to control electricity-generating plants’ emissions of the neurotoxic metal via a controversial cap-and-trade system favored by utilities. Fourteen states, backed by environmental organizations, challenged the rule, and a federal appeals court threw it out last year (C&EN, Feb. 18, 2008, page 6). The Bush Administration, backed by coal-fired utilities, had asked the high court to reconsider the lower court’s ruling. Although the Obama Administration has halted the federal government’s appeal, a group of coal-fired utilities is continuing to seek Supreme Court review of the case.
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