Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Courting Clean Air: Can EPA Save Interstate Protections?: Op-Ed


Graham McCahan, staff attorney for the Environmental Defense Fundcontributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Recently, attorneys for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision of the D.C. Circuit Court in a case called EME Homer City Generation. In that case, the attorneys said, the lower court "committed a series of fundamental errors that, if left undisturbed, will gravely undermine the EPA's enforcement of the Clean Air Act." 

In EME Homer City Generation, which was decided last summer, a divided court overturned the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, one of the EPA's most important (and cost-effective) clean air programs. It is designed to reduce harmful smokestack pollution from power plants, which can drift for hundreds of miles and adversely affect distant communities. 

There are major public health consequences at stake here. The rule, once put in

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