EPA Ordered to Relax Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

  • A coal-fired power plant in West Virginia. Photo: John E. Amos via Flickr

July 31, 2015

It’s back to the drawing board for the EPA in its efforts to prevent cross-state air pollution.

This week, a federal appeals court ordered the agency to relax the limits it set on nitrogen dioxide emissions in 13 states—including Pennsylvania—where pollution moves from one state to another. Nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide create soot and smog when they combine with other pollutants. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. States and industry groups challenged how the rule was applied.

This week’s lower court decision sent the rule back to EPA, saying that in its current form, the rule is overly strict.

Reporting by Julie Grant