Environment & Energy Report

EPA Lacks Authority to Undo Mercury Power Rule, Top Lawyer Says

Feb. 7, 2019, 9:00 PM

The EPA can’t legally withdraw Obama-era toxic air pollution standards for power plants, even as it rewrites the cost justification for those limits, the agency’s top lawyer said Feb. 7.

“We don’t believe we have the legal authority to do that,” EPA General Counsel Matthew Z. Leopold said at the Environmental Law 2019 conference. He cited a 2008 decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in New Jersey v. EPA that “closed that door.”

In that decision, the D.C. Circuit struck down the Bush administration’s Clean...

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