TIME Courts

Supreme Court Ruling Will Force Power Plants To Stem Downwind Pollution

The 6-2 ruling is a victory for the Obama administration’s efforts to clean up air pollution from power plant emissions

The Supreme Court restored a 2011 Environmental Protection Agency rule governing power plant emissions that cross state lines Tuesday, in a 6-2 ruling that could force about 1,000 power plants to improve pollution controls or simply reduce electricity production.

The Cross-State Air Pollution rule requires 28 states, mostly in the midwestern and southern United States, to take steps to limit power plant emissions that pollute the air downwind, The Wall Street Journal reports. The regulation deals primarily with emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, both of which are known to cause heart and respiratory problems.

Tuesday’s decision, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reverses a ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which found that the rule was too onerous in demanding emissions reductions on certain states and that the EPA didn’t give states the chance to develop their own standards. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

[WSJ]

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