Court Stay of Regional Haze Rule Adds to Judicial Scrutiny of EPA Authority

On July 15, 2016 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regional haze rule for Texas and Oklahoma pending judicial review. The decision questions the Agency’s ability to claim that regional rules have national scope and adds to the list of pending litigations against EPA regulations, most notably, the Supreme Court’s February action granting a stay of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) which set carbon dioxide regulations for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. Ongoing litigations highlight increasing judicial scrutiny of EPA regulations due to accusations of overreach and failure to properly consider costs and impacts of proposed or finalized rules.

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