A Possible Pattern In EPA Cases Before The High Court

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Stoel Rives attorney Tom Wood  authored an article for Law360 titled "A Possible Pattern In EPA Cases Before The High Court." The article discusses a recent U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Michigan v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that struck down the EPA's mercury and air toxics standard ("MATS") rule. Wood was also quoted about the case in North American Wind Power, FierceEnergy and UtilityDive.

The MATS rule imposed stringent air pollutant standards on coal- and oil-fired power plants that would have resulted in an estimated yearly compliance cost of nearly $10 billion. The crux of the argument on the part of twenty-one states and a variety of impacted industries was that additional, industry-specific requirements on power plants, established by the EPA as part of a different regulatory structure than for other industries, were not justified because the agency had not considered the economic benefit associated with the hazardous air pollutant standards versus the costs to the utilities. In striking down the rule, the Supreme Court held that the additional requirements had to account for cost.

Wood noted that what is so striking about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling is its similarity to the court's ruling last year in Utility Air Regulatory Group, which struck down, in part, the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the prevention of significant deterioration program.

The text of the Law360 article can be found in this Stoel Rives Air Quality Law Alert.


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Thomas R. Wood
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