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January 28, 2013

Update: Cross State Air Pollution Rule

Court declines to reconsider decision vacating Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Jan. 24 declined to reconsider a decision vacating the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which set new, tighter restrictions on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants in 28 states. The EPA and environmental groups had asked the full set of nine judges to overturn the August 2012 decision by a three-judge panel.

The decision most likely means that EPA must take another stab at dealing with the issue of cross-state air pollution under the Clean Air Act. The agency or environmentalists could appeal the CSAPR decision to the Supreme Court, but the high court is unlikely to take the case. The appeals panel’s August decision directed EPA to continue administering the Clean Air Interstate Rule—CSAPR’s predecessor—pending the issuance of a valid replacement.

For PSGC, this means that it will continue to operate under the Clean Air Interstate Rule, or CAIR, the current U.S. EPA regulation. PSGC was constructed and planned under the CAIR emission allowance structure.

From Public Power Daily