Business and Economics

Indiana Loses Challenge To New Federal Pollution Rules

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April 29, 2014–By NETWORK INDIANA–

A 6-2 Supreme Court majority ruled calculating state-by-state emissions precisely is both impossible and a step beyond what the Clean Air Act requires.

Indiana has lost a challenge against new federal pollution rules that hold states responsible for smog and soot emissions that cross state lines. The ruling would require 28 states including Indiana to reduce their emissions that impact other states.

Indiana joined Texas and 12 other states in the lawsuit, arguing the Environmental Protection Agency regulation violates the Clean Air Act by not giving states a chance to calculate how much pollution they are responsible for.

The rule instead parceled out responsibility among states through a formula based not on the amount of emissions but on cost.

A federal appeals court sided with the states, but a 6-2 Supreme Court majority ruled calculating the amount of emissions each state produces is both impossible and a step beyond what the Clean Air Act requires.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he hasn’t had a chance to study the Tuesday morning ruling. He says the ruling may still leave some Indiana-specific issues resolved.

“I don’t think it will quite resolve the issue up in Lake County where they had the emissions questions, so I think we’re still going to have to do a little bit of digestion about what this ruling means,” Zoeller says.

Zoeller adds that the ruling shouldn’t affect a second Supreme Court case in which Indiana is taking on the EPA. The court heard arguments in February in a challenge to the agency‘s attempt to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Indiana is among 13 states challenging that rule.

“They’re two separate cases,” Zoeller says. “One of the reasons we got involved in the other one is that it would be a model for other watersheds, regions of both air and water. It has repercussions in others, but I’ll have to study it a little bit more to find out exactly how.”


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