Big Win for Environmentalists in New York v. EPA May Have Limited Impact on Air Quality

Rankin, Katherine K.
August 2007
Ecology Law Quarterly;2007, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p837
Academic Journal
In New York v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit Court evaluated the process by which electrical power companies may make modifications to their plants without installing pollution controls. In 2002, EPA implemented new regulations that allowed electrical power companies to update their facilities without installing pollution controls so long as the total cost of the modifications did not exceed 20 percent of the value of the entire plant. The court held that the 20 percent cutoff violated the plain language of the Clean Air Act. The holding rejected EPA's attempt to exempt the majority of power plants from upgrading their pollution control technology when making modifications. However, in light of the current presidential administration, the holding may be less than significant from an environmental standpoint, and other steps should be taken to improve air quality.


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