Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Vacated by Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

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On August 21, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, vacated EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). This much-anticipated ruling strikes down one of the current Administration's most controversial and heavily litigated environmental rules.

Summary of the D.C. Circuit's Opinion -

The Clean Air Act (CAA) allows for rules to be promulgated to control upwind emissions, and also outlines a process to allow states to be the first to propose a plan to make these reductions; if the plans do not meet federal criteria, then the EPA may assume this responsibility. On August 8, 2011, EPA finalized CSAPR as its most recent attempt at a rule to set emissions caps for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and/or sulfur dioxide (SO2) in 28 states with the purpose of reducing impacts to downwind states' ability to comply with fineparticulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone standards.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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