Court Upbraids EPA for Mercury Cap-and-Trade

Greenies hail ruling, which will force agency to rewrite controls
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2008 5:40 PM CST
Smoke stacks from the NRG power plant located just outside of Jewett, Texas tower over Texas Highway 39, Nov. 28, 2007. The new ruling adds fuel to the U.S. backlash against coal-burning plants, which...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A court ruled today that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by instituting a “cap-and-trade” program for the emission of mercury and other toxic chemicals. Reuters reports that the federal court's ruling means coal-fired plants will all have to invest in mercury-reduction equipment in order to adhere to emissions standards.

"The EPA recklessly ignored the law and the science," said one lawyer working with the coalition that had sued to reverse the exemptions. "This adds to the momentum against building new coal-fired power plants," added another. It will take years before the EPA decides on new rules for mercury emissions, so utilities are beholden to state limits, many of which are quite strict. (Read more Environmental Protection Agency stories.)