News Brief

Court Finds Against Bush Relaxation of Clean Air Act

A federal appeals court has overturned a policy that would have allowed power plants, refineries, and other industrial facilities to upgrade without also updating their pollution-control equipment. While the New Source Review program of the Clean Air Act ensured that older plants would clean up emissions whenever they performed upgrades beyond “routine maintenance,” the Bush administration’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) modified that rule in 2003 to allow renovations costing up to 20% of the replacement value of a plant’s entire production system to proceed without the emissions-reducing measures (see


Vol. 12, No. 10). Stating that the new interpretation would be allowed “only in a Humpty Dumpty world,” the court found against EPA and in favor of a coalition including 14 states and a range of environmental organizations. “We decline such a worldview,” said the unanimous decision. EPA could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Published April 3, 2006

Boehland, J. (2006, April 3). Court Finds Against Bush Relaxation of Clean Air Act. Retrieved from

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