Skip to main content

YOUR GIFT MATCHED $1-FOR-$1

With all the threats facing our environment—from deadly pesticides and deforestation to attacks on endangered species —the time to act is now!

Give by December 31 to have your tax-deductible gift matched $1-for-$1 by the Sandler Foundation.

$

Defending a Major Interstate Air Pollution Safeguard

Hazy air covers the eastern United States.

Hazy air covers the large portion of the United States, stretching from the Midwest, to the Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic. Image acquired July 26, 2005.

NASA Earth Observatory

Case Overview

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule would prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths each year and provide up to $280 billion in health and environmental benefits by reducing pollution that crosses state lines. Environmental groups, as well as the EPA and various states, have asked the Supreme Court to reverse a court of appeals decision invalidating the rule.

Earthjustice attorney Howard Fox is among several attorneys representing Environmental Defense Fund in this case before the Court.

If allowed to take effect, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule would require power plants in more than two dozen states to clean up nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide pollution that drifts across state borders and contributes to harmful soot (particles) and smog (ozone) pollution in downwind states. According to the EPA, the rule would every year prevent 13,000 to 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 non-fatal heart attacks, 19,000 hospital and emergency room visits, 19,000 episodes of acute bronchitis, 420,000 upper and lower respiratory symptoms, 400,000 episodes of aggravated asthma, and 1.8 million days of missed work or school.

The rule was adopted under the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act, and that is what the rule requires—that upwind states generating this pollution not foul the air in other states.

The agency also projects that the rule’s pollution reductions will help protect not just people, but also the natural resources on which we depend, including national and state parks, and ecosystems including the Adirondack lakes and Appalachian streams, coastal waters and estuaries, and forests.

Case ID

2572

Attorneys

Case Updates

April 29, 2014 | In the News: Washington Post

Supreme Court Upholds EPA Rule Limiting Cross-State Pollution

The Supreme Court struck down an industry challenge that prevented the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating coal plant pollution across state lines. The ruling is a tremendous victory for public health and the environment as it grants the EPA the authority to require old plants to install modern pollution controls. “People who live downwind from this deadly pollution have a right to breathe air that doesn’t sicken and kill them,” Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice president.

April 29, 2014 | Press Release

Reversing Lower Court, Supreme Court Clears Away Key Obstacle to Major Interstate Air Pollution Safeguard

In a victory for clean air and public health, today the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision, in which the D.C. Circuit had struck down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The rule would prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths each year and provide up to $280 billion in health and environmental benefits by reducing pollution that crosses state lines.

December 9, 2013 | Blog Post

Supreme Court Reviews Air Rule that Would Prevent Thousands of Deaths Each Year

The highest court of the land will hear argument in a case that is important to anyone with lungs. A vital air safeguard, the 2011 rule would require power plants in more than two dozen states to clean up nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide pollution that drifts across state borders and contributes to harmful soot (particles) and smog (ozone) pollution in downwind states.

September 5, 2013 | Blog Post

What is CSAPR Anyway?

CSAPR would identify the emissions within 27 states in the U.S. that affect the ability of neighboring and downwind states to achieve cleaner air. The rule would substantially reduce the adverse air quality impacts of these emissions transported across state lines.