The court also ruled against PCA’s objections to the new source standard and let that regulation remain in place.
In addition, the court dismissed a petition by a group of environmental organizations, which contended EPA’s new source rules should have included emissions standards for greenhouse gases.
Brian McCarthy, PCA’s CEO and president, said in a Dec. 12 statement, “The court agreed with a number of the issues that PCA argued in its briefs, including the inappropriate way the agency addressed the relationship between the NESHAP and a potentially conflicting rule addressing solid waste incinerators.”
McCarthy also said PCA was pleased that the court vacated the clinker-pile standard.
But he added, “PCA believes that the court should have stayed the NESHAP rule while EPA determines how to reconcile [that rule] and solid waste incinerator rules, the latter of which was re-proposed by EPA earlier this month.”
Environmental groups characterized the decision as mainly a victory for their side.
David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean air program, said in a Dec. 9 blog post: “The court largely rejected industry challenges to the public-health protection standards for mercury, soot and other dangerous pollutants coming from these cement plants.”
Doniger referred to the court’s directive that EPA reconsider the clinker standard as “a minor issue.”
But he said NRDC is disappointed that the court turned down “for lack of jurisdiction” environmentalists’ request that EPA’s new source rule have greenhouse-gas emissions provisions.
The issue of cement-kiln emissions has gotten the attention of House Republicans, who pushed a bill through the chamber in October that would direct EPA to revisit its cement-kiln regulations. But the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority, isn’t expected to approve the House-passed measure.