EPA asks court to lift stay of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule
Originally published July 1, 2014
Armed with a Supreme Court victory, the Environmental Protection Agency has asked a federal appeals court to lift its stay of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and extend the rule's compliance deadlines. The regulation would require 28 upwind states to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter to achieve attainment of three National Ambient Air Quality Standards in downwind states.
EPA in a June 26 filing specifically asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to lift its stay and extend the compliance deadlines by three years, so that the Phase 1 emissions budgets would apply in 2015 and 2016 (instead of 2012 and 2013), and the Phase 2 emissions budgets would apply in 2017 and beyond (instead of 2014 and beyond).
The Supreme Court in an April 29 decision upheld the rule’s approach to implementing the interstate transport provisions of the Clean Air Act and rejected the principal arguments made in support of a stay, EPA said. The rule calls for a cap-and-trade approach to emissions and would create four emissions trading programs. Lifting the stay and using the new compliance deadlines would not cause the industry any irreparable harm, the agency added. "Indeed, the vast majority of reductions needed by 2017 can be achieved by resuming operation of idled controls or through actions that have already been announced," EPA said.
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