The U.S. high court upheld on Tuesday an Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation on cross-state pollution regulation.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that the EPA can regulate and did so in a reasonable manner when creating regulations over 28 states being required to lower coal-fired power plants emissions that can add to pollution that crosses into neighboring states, reports Reuters.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the majority decision noting the regulation is a “permissible, workable, and equitable interpretation” of the Clean Air Act “good neighbor” provision. She also noted that the EPA’s rule is a good move towards pollution reduction in upwind states, which negatively affects air pollution for neighboring downwind states.
Pollution wafting in from neighboring states can make it more difficult for other states to stay within federal guidelines for air quality.
Upwind states and utilities had tried to argue that the Obama administration environmental regulators’ rules provided the EPA with too much power, reports The New York Times.
Ginsburg said in the majority decision the “EPA must have leeway in fulfilling its statutory mandate.”
The Supreme Court ruling will now leave electric utilities with two choices for coal-burning plants: either install expensive new equipment to reduce emissions or close down.