[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Tuesday upheld [opinion, PDF] regulations [text] issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] that would limit mercury emissions and other hazardous pollutants from coal-fired power plants. The decision may have the effect [Reuters report] of shutting down certain coal-fired plants due to the costs of complying with the EPA rule. However, the court said that the Clean Air Act "neither requires EPA to consider costs nor prohibits EPA from doing so" and rejected the argument that the rule was not "appropriate and necessary."
Tuesday's decision is merely one of the controversial cases [JURist op-ed] regarding the EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act currently being litigated in federal court. In February the US the Supreme Court heard oral arguments [JURIST report] on the EPA's power to regulate certain greenhouse gases. In December the US Supreme Court also heard arguments in the consolidates cases of EPA v. EME Homer City Generation and American Lung Association v. EME Homer City Generation [transcript, PDF]. There, the Court is considering the authority of the EPA to issue regulations limiting power plant emissions that cross state lines.