The US Supreme Court struck down the EPA’s first-ever national standards for mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying the agency failed to take into account the costs the rule would impose on utilities.
Industry groups said the pollution regulation would costs $9.6 billion annually.
The National Mining Association, which, along with the Utility Air Regulatory Group and 21 states appealed that ruling, praised the court’s decision, issued yesterday, calling it a “vindication of common sense.”
“The decision effectively puts EPA on notice: reckless rulemaking that ignores the cost to consumers is unreasonable and won’t be tolerated,” NMA president and CEO Hal Quinn said. “It recognizes what the administration has ignored: that every regulatory benefit comes with a cost, and the value of that benefit cannot be known unless its costs are considered.”
The EPA initially issued the standards in late 2011 and said they would cut mercury pollution by 90 percent. In 2012, the agency agreed to review those limits after a challenge by industry before finalizing the pollution regulations a year later.
Photo Credit: coal-fired power plant via Shutterstock