New Court Filings for Both Parties in EPA Mats Rule Dispute

Nick Eshleman

On Wednesday, July 1, we posted an article (U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down EPA MATS Rule) outlining the recent Supreme Court ruling on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). At that time, the court ruled that the EPA should have taken cost into consideration when determining if the MATS rule was “appropriate and necessary” according to standard regulatory process. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to determine how
to proceed.

  • On September 24th 2015, the plaintiffs in the case, consisting of 18 states as well as several industry groups, filed a request with the court asking it to vacate the rule entirely. This would force the EPA to either start the regulation process over from the beginning or to abandon the rule entirely.
  • On the same day, the EPA also filed a request with the court asking for more time to tweak the rule to meet the Court’s requirements, and for the current rule to be kept in place until a more suitable one could be put into place.
  • Proponents of the rule cite the expected public health benefits for the rule.
  • Opponents claim the EPA overstated the health benefits, indicating that the cost of implementation outweighs the expected positive effects.

It is unlikely that a ruling in either party’s favor will have an impact on energy prices in the short-term, as most utilities have already put into motion plans to comply with the rule, along with the associated cost increases. If the court rules against the EPA, however, it may impact EPA’s regulatory process in the long-term, forcing them to consider cost-to-benefit factors when establishing new rules.

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The information in this page is offered only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice.

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