Bush’s Clean-Air Program For Powerplants Reinstated
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has reinstated the Bush administration’s Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) until the Environmental Protection Agency develops a new clean-air program for powerplants. The court struck down the rule, which had been touted as the centerpiece of the administration’s air quality program, on July 11, saying it had “fundamental flaws.” But the court decided to revisit the issue after EPA, Environmental Defense Fund and several states asked for the rule to be reinstated. In its Dec. 24 ruling, the court concluded that despite “relative flaws” of CAIR, allowing the rule to remain in effect until a new rule could be developed “would temporarily preserve the environmental values covered by CAIR.” CAIR, enacted in 2005, requires 28 mostly eastern states to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by as much as 70% by 2015. The first major compliance deadline is Jan. 1, 2009.