Court declines to put Clean Power Plan on hold

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Jan. 21 denied motions filed by states and industry — including the American Public Power Association — that sought to put implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's final Section 111(d) rule on hold while the court hears legal challenges to it.

The EPA's final Clean Power Plan rule was issued on Aug. 3 and was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 23, clearing the way for parties to file legal action related to the rule, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

APPA and the Utility Air Regulatory Group filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking it to review the rule. Separately, APPA, UARG and several other parties on Oct. 23 asked the D.C. Circuit to stay the final rule.

In a brief opinion, the court said the petitioners had not "satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review."

The decision means that states must comply with the rule's Sept. 6, 2016, deadline to submit initial state plans.

The court also put the case on an expedited timeline, with oral argument scheduled for June 2.

Learn more about how utilities are trying to prepare for their state's compliance with the CPP in the latest issue of Public Power magazine.