Challengers outline arguments against EPA mercury rule
Written byLAWRENCE HURLEY, Greenwire
Industry groups and states challenging U.S. EPA's mercury and air toxics rule have outlined their main arguments for why they think a federal appeals court should throw it out.
They filed briefs last night with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in two of three cases concerning the rule that are currently pending.
The main case, White Stallion v. EPA, focuses on a direct challenge to the so-called MATS rule, which will require the nation's coal- and oil-burning power plants to cut releases of mercury and other toxic chemicals over the next several years.
The second case in which briefs were filed yesterday is Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, which focuses on revisions to New Source Performance Standards that were included as part of the new rule. Both cases will be argued on the same day.
In a brief filed by state industry and labor groups in White Stallion, lawyers wrote that the rule should be vacated because EPA's 2002 finding that the need to regulate the emissions in question was "substantively and procedurally flawed."
The agency's approach is "inconsistent" with the Clean Air Act, the lawyers wrote. Furthermore, "the record does not support" the finding that the regulated pollutants "pose public health hazards," the brief stated.
The third case concerning the rule, also known as White Stallion v. EPA, is an expedited challenge made by developers of new fossil-fueled power plants. It is currently on hold after EPA agreed to reconsider the standards.