A federal appeals court has rejected Bush administration efforts at curbing air pollution, holding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its powers in issuing new emissions standards under a 2005 clean air rule.
In a decision issued on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found "more than several fatal flaws" in the Clean Air Interstate Rule adopted by the EPA in 2005. The Los Angeles Times reports that the rule "required 28 mostly Eastern states to reduce smog-forming and soot-producing emissions that can travel long distances in the wind," with the EPA estimating that it would prevent approximately 17,000 deaths per year. In Friday's decision, the court held that the EPA had gone beyond its authority in setting the new pollution standards. According to the New York Times, this ruling, "along with a court decision issued in February striking down the environmental agency's rule controlling mercury emissions from power plants, means that virtually all new controls imposed on the electric utility industry by the Bush administration have no force."