On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, et al., that the EPA’s rules to limit greenhouse gas emission from stationary sources such as utility companies, power plants, and factories could stand. However, the Court ruled that the EPA had taken too much authority into its own hands without congressional approval by applying a permitting provision of the Clean Air Act to new and expanded power plants, refineries, and factories solely because they emit greenhouse gases.
The Supreme Court ruled that the law does not allow the EPA to require a permit on the sole basis of potential greenhouse gas emissions. The utility industry, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and thirteen states, led by the State of Texas, had asked the Court to rule that the EPA overstepped its authority by trying to regulate greenhouse gases.
The decision does not affect the EPA’s regulation issued on June 2, 2014, on the emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants. The EPA can continue to require permits for greenhouse gas emissions for facilities that already have to obtain permits because they emit other pollutants regulated by the government.
For more information, or for assistance with air emissions related issues, contact Toni Ellington at 504-599-8500.