Issue Date: January 14, 2013
Court Strikes Down EPA Rules For Soot
A federal appeals court has ruled that EPA must implement stronger requirements to clean up soot and other types of fine particulate matter emitted from industrial facilities and motor vehicles. On Jan. 4, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the agency’s flexible approach to implementing air quality standards for particulate matter. The court ruled that the public health protections in the Clean Air Act require EPA to apply more stringent cleanup requirements in communities with unhealthful levels of this type of pollution. Environmental groups had challenged two regulations issued by EPA during the George W. Bush Administration. In its decision, the court sent the rules back to the agency with instructions to strengthen them. “Soot pollution is dangerous and kills tens of thousands of people each year,” says Earthjustice lawyer Paul Cort, who argued the case. “This ruling will mean much stronger protections against this deadly pollutant.” Major sources of fine particle pollution include coal-fired power plants, factories, oil refineries, and diesel engines.
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