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Federal appeals court backs EPA Minnesota air pollution plan

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] on Thursday, dismissing a claim that the imposed pollution regulations in Minnesota are too lenient. The National Parks Conservation Association [advocacy website] challenged the EPA's approval of a "reasonable-progress" plan as satisfying the Minnesota Regional Haze Plan [official website] to improve air quality. The court found that EPA's approval of time allowances was not arbitrary,capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law.

In another victory for the EPA Thursday, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to block [JURIST report] the Clean Power Plan (CPP) [materials]. A three-judge panel of the DC Circuit issued an order denying an application seeking to stay the rule while litigation continues. A highly divided US Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 last June that the EPA could not make regulations [JURIST report] regarding the toxic emissions of power plants without considering costs. The panel of judges on the case issued a set of concurring and dissenting opinions disagreeing either with the judgment or the reasoning of it. In August the EPA proposed new rules [JURIST report] to cut methane emissions by the oil and gas industry, as part of the Obama administration's commitment to taking action on climate change.

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