New Jersey v. EPA (2008)

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Multi-state challenge to EPA decision to remove fossil fuel-fired power plants from list of sources regulated under CAA section 112 (hazardous air pollutants) and to establish new performance standards for mercury emissions from these plants under CAA section 111.

Citation: New Jersey v. EPA, 517 F.3d 574 (D.C. Cir. 2008)

Topic: Air Pollution

Type of action: Lawsuit v. Federal Government

States involved: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin

Summary: Petitioners challenged two EPA rules that: (i) removed coal- and oil-fired electric generating units (EGUs) from the list of sources regulated under section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) (which deals with emissions of hazardous air pollutants), and (ii) established new performance standards for mercury emissions from these EGUs under CAA section 111. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the CAA section 112(c)(9) requires EPA to make “specific findings before removing a source listed under section 112,” and that EPA had not made these findings. As a result, the court vacated the delisting rule. The court also held that EPA is barred from regulating the same source category under both section 112 and section 111, so the new performance standards were also vacated.

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