U.S. Court of Appeals hears arguments calling for rewrite of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

On April 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals hears arguments on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CASPR).

In February 2012, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) joined several of its power supply cooperative members on a petition filed against the CASPR. On December 30, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered a stay of the rule the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had finalized in August, 2011.

Cooperatives have reduced SO2 and NOx emissions by about two-thirds since the Clean Air Act (CAA) was amended in 1990; we anticipate an additional fifty percent reduction to remaining emissions over the next five years. Cooperatives support Clean Air Act policies that can sensibly and economically address health concerns around power plant emissions.

“The EPA had an opportunity to get this rule right but in rushing to the finish line made a hash of the emissions budgets and timelines. Electric cooperatives are prepared to meet new requirements to reduce downwind air pollution, but we cannot support a rule that is arbitrary and unfair in its treatment of certain regions,” said NRECA CEO Glenn English.

The brief addresses fundamental flaws with the CSAPR including the following:

  • Requiring more interstate air pollution reductions than allowed by law
  • Using flawed models to establish emissions limits
  • Setting arbitrary state emissions budgets and unit allowances
  • Setting  capricious compliance schedules

The court is expected to hear arguments on April 13, 2012.