(Washington, D.C. — January 22, 2014) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and a coalition of environmental organizations filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court last night to defend the application of clean air protections to large industrial sources of climate pollution in the same way these protections have applied to air pollutants for over 35 years.
The U.S. Government and a coalition of 15 states (New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) together with the City of New York also filed briefs defending these vital public health and environmental safeguards.
At issue is whether new and rebuilt large industrial sources must deploy cost-effective modern pollution controls to limit climate pollution.
The case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA (No. 12-1146), is scheduled for oral argument on February 24th.
“The Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that EPA has the authority and the responsibility to address climate pollution,” said EDF General Counsel Vickie Patton. “It is vital to our nation’s public health and prosperity that large industrial emitters deploy common sense pollution controls to mitigate climate pollution in the same way they have so effectively cut other air pollutants.”
EDF filed its brief together with Earthjustice, NRDC, the Sierra Club, Clean Air Task Force (on behalf of the Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Ohio Environmental Council and Michigan Environmental Council), National Wildlife Federation, and the Southern Environmental Law Center (on behalf of George ForestWatch, Wetlands Watch, and Wild Virginia).
“Our nation is in a race against time to forge a strong clean energy economy, and to protect our families and communities from the ravages of extreme weather and dangerous climate pollution,” said Patton.
The Brief of the United States explains, “The EPA determined that greenhouse-gas emissions endanger public health and welfare in ways that may prove to be more widespread, longer-lasting, and graver than the effects of any other pollutant regulated under the [Clean Air] Act.” (Brief of U.S. at page 27)