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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

U.S. SC hears arguments in lawsuit over cross-state air pollution regulations

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Dec 10, 2013


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging air pollution standards Tuesday.

EPA, et al. v. EME Homer City, et al. and American Lung Assn., et al. v. EME Homer City, et al. both were scheduled for argument, according to the court's website. The two cases have been consolidated into one 90-minute hearing.

Last month, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led a bipartisan group of nine state attorneys general in filing an amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief with the nation's high court.

The attorneys general argue the federal Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority under the federal Clean Air Act when it promulgated a rule in 2011 announcing new air pollution cuts and imposing federal implementation plans on states.

The brief argues the CAA requires the EPA to give states an opportunity to decide how to meet new air pollution standards.

West Virginia was joined in the brief by the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The brief supports 15 other states, as well as industry groups and labor organizations, who sued the EPA on the same issue in 2011.

In August 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the regulation, saying it "exceeds the agency's statutory authority."

The Supreme Court agreed to review the Transport Rule earlier this year.

"Our office is very concerned that this rule, if allowed to stand, will place an undue burden on states, as well as the energy exploration companies that fuel our nation and our economy," Morrisey said in a statement late Monday.

"We will be watching the outcome of these arguments very carefully."

Morrisey said states cannot allow the EPA and the Obama administration to overstep the law and force a set of one-size-fits-all rules on them.

"They need to know that these rules have a real-life impact on the lives of thousands of West Virginians who either work in the energy sector or will have to pay higher power bills," the attorney general said.

A decision is expected by June.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)U.S. Supreme Court