Appeals court grants Trump request to delay mercury air pollution case

U.S. President Donald Trump reacts after signing an executive order on education during an event with Governors at the White House in Washington, DC, U.S. April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Thursday granted a request from the Trump administration to put litigation on hold in which states and industry groups are challenging an Obama administration pollution control rule for mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit canceled oral arguments that were due to take place on May 18. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said it wants to review the rule.

The rule, known as the MATS rule, has been in place for years and utilities have already complied by upgrading or shutting older coal-fired power plants.

Current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the former attorney general for Oklahoma, was one of 15 state prosecutors to sue the previous administration to block the MATS rule, as well as its Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rule.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Dan Grebler