for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up
Environment

Appeals court leaves U.S. mercury pollution rules in place

A general view of Rangeley Lake, which is being monitored for mercury levels, in Rangeley, Maine August 23, 2005. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court said on Tuesday Obama administration regulations limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants can remain in effect while the government revises the rules in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling.

In a brief order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the regulations could remain in place while the government responds to the high court’s June ruling that said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should have considered the compliance costs.

The high court voted 5-4 in June, with its five conservative justices in the majority ruling against the EPA. The justices left it up to the appeals court to decide whether the rule had to be thrown out altogether while the agency revised it.

The appeals court order on Tuesday noted the government has said it is on track to issue its finding on compliance costs by April 15, 2016.

According to the EPA, the rule, which went into effect in April, applies to about 1,400 electricity-generating units at 600 power plants. Many are already in compliance, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

The 2012 mercury regulation, which covered oil-fired plants as well as coal-burning ones, was challenged by Michigan and other states in addition to various industry groups, including the National Mining Association.

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up