Federal regulators may perform cost-benefit analysis on new power plant equipment designed to protect fish, and decide whether to require the equipment based on that analysis, the Supreme Court ruled today. The 6-3 decision overturns an appellate court ruling that barred the EPA from performing cost-benefit analysis because it wasn't intended by the authors of the Clean Water Act, the New York Times reports..
It is “well within the bounds of reasonable interpretation for the E.P.A. to conclude that cost-benefit analysis is not categorically forbidden,” Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority. In dissenting, John Paul Stevens wrote that the explicit endorsement of cost-benefit analyses elsewhere in the act shows that it is prohibited where not mentioned.