Health and environmental organizations file Supreme Court brief in support of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

September 4, 2013
Contact: 
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – September 4, 2013) A coalition of health and environmental organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), filed briefs with the Supreme Court today in support of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

The Supreme Court of the United States announced in June that it would review a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that overturned the rule. That decision was EME Homer City Generation v. EPA.

“The case for cleaner air in America is clear and compelling. The Cross State Rule is firmly anchored in science and law, and will ensure healthier and longer lives for 240 million Americans,” said EDF general counsel Vickie Patton.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule under the "good neighbor" provision of the Clean Air Act, which is intended to ensure that the emissions from one state’s power plants do not cause harmful pollution levels in neighboring states.

The rule would reduce the sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen pollution emitted from coal-fired power plants across 28 eastern states. Those emissions, and the resulting particulate pollution and ozone -- more commonly known as soot and smog -- drift across the borders of those states and contribute to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels of pollution in downwind states.

Today’s brief was filed on behalf of the American Lung Association, Clean Air Council, Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, along with EDF. Earthjustice and Clean Air Task Force assisted with the briefs on behalf of the parties.

The Court will hear the case during the upcoming term, which begins this fall. Dates for oral arguments have not yet been set. 

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