Climate Pollution Standards for New Power Plants Face Court Challenge

October 14, 2016
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

(Washington, D.C. – October 14, 2016) The first briefs were filed last night in legal challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate pollution standards for new, modified, and reconstructed power plants.

States, coal mining interests, and coal-intensive power companies who are challenging the standards filed three briefs with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the case (State of North Dakota v. EPA, No. 15-1381). 

A broad and diverse coalition has intervened to defend the standards in court ­— including eighteen states, two cities, the American Lung Association and eight other public health organizations, environmental groups including Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and nine power companies and municipal power authorities. EPA’s brief rebutting the challenges to the new source standards will be filed by December 14th, and the intervenors supporting EPA will file their briefs by December 21st.

“The climate pollution standards for new power plants are common sense climate and public health protections with a solid legal and technical foundation,” said Tomas Carbonell, Director of Regulatory Policy and Lead Attorney for EDF. “These standards will finally prevent the release of unlimited climate pollution from new power plants. We look forward to presenting a robust defense of the standards in court.” 

The standards establish the first nationwide limits on carbon dioxide from new, modified, and reconstructed fossil fuel-fired power plants. They were finalized last October.

EDF is also a party to litigation over the Clean Power Plan, which sets the first national standards for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit just heard oral argument in that case on September 27th.  

You can find all the legal briefs in both cases on EDF’s website

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