power plant pollution

Chris Murphy / Flickr

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.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. to add information on mercury pollution.

A new report released today puts both Missouri and Illinois among the top 20 states with the most toxic air pollution from power plants.

The Natural Resources Defense Council report ranked Missouri 15th and Illinois 16th nationwide, based on 2010 data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the most recent data available.