Federal rule to reduce air polution overturned

Aug 22, 2012

A federal appeals court has overturned a federal rule that would have reduced air pollution from power plants and kept it from drifting across state lines.

In a 2-to-1 decision, the panel of judges said the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its regulatory authority when it approved the Cross-State Air Pollution rule last summer.

Sierra Club Missouri Chapter Director John Hickey says the rule would have reduced emissions of soot, sulfur dioxide, and other pollutants that drift from state to state.

"The reason that cross-state air pollution rules are so important is that a lot of the pollution that we breathe here in Missouri actually blows in from other states, from Texas, from Oklahoma, from Kansas, from Arkansas," Hickey said.

Hickey said the EPA can now either go back to the D.C. Court of Appeals and petition for a rehearing, or try to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.