[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] on Thursday sided with several states and the federal government [opinion, PDF] when it found that energy company Cinergy Corp. [corporate website] should have gone through a federal permit process prior to increasing their pollutant output after modernizing their facilities. The case was originally filed under the Clinton administration in 1999 when the government argued that numerous outdated coal-burning power plants had been illegally spewing hazardous emissions. After reaching a settlement, Cinergy backed out when the Bush Administration indicated it may be more lenient regarding emissions.
The government's victory in this case may impact an upcoming US Supreme Court case [Duke case law backgrounder] against Duke Energy [corporate website], which acquired Cinergy earlier this year. That case involves a similar air pollution issue. AP has more.