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Judges Tussle with EPA Air Pollution Rules

Supreme Court 2Supreme Court justices seem sympathetic to the EPA’s arguments in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule case, which the court heard yesterday.

Most of the eight judges hearing the case voiced some support for the regulations, although it is still not clear how they will rule, Reuters reported. “It’s certainly hard,” Chief Justice John Roberts said, but went on to suggest that the EPA was following statutes as required, the New York Times reports.

Challengers to the law include Entergy, Luminant and the United Mineworkers of America. The judges are expected to rule in the case by the end of June.

Meanwhile, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, hearing a case on the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, seemed skeptical of industry’s argument that the agency did not ensure that such regulation was “appropriate and necessary.” 

But Eric Groten, a Vinson & Elkins lawyer specializing in the Clean Air Act, said the court was unlikely to affirm MATS in its entirety, Reuters reports.

The judges could reach a decision in that case by February or March.

Takeaway: Judges heard arguments in two key cases, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard – and showed some sympathy to EPA arguments in both.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

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