Monday, July 15, 2013


Jul 12: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Case No. 12-1022. On Petition for Review of Final Agency Action of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0081). The Appeals Court explains that Portland Generating Station (Portland‖) is a 427-megawatt, coal-fired, electricity generating plant located in Upper Mount Bethel Township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Portland is directly across the Delaware River within 500 feet of Knowlton Township in Warren County, New Jersey. The EPA has found that Portland emits sulfur dioxide in amounts that significantly interfere with the control of air pollution across state borders. Sulfur dioxide is a toxic air pollutant that endangers life and health, causing burning of the nose and throat, difficulty breathing, and obstruction of the lungs and airways. Because of its location, Portland's sulfur dioxide emissions travel directly across the river into areas of New Jersey. In response to a petition under the Clean Air Act, the EPA issued a rule imposing direct limits on Portland's emissions and a schedule of restrictions to reduce its contribution to air pollution within three years. GenOn REMA, LLC (GenOn‖), the owner and operator of Portland, challenges the EPA's rule as inconsistent with the agency's authority under the Clean Air Act and as arbitrary and capricious. The Appeals Court upholds the EPA rule and denies GenOn's petition for review.

    In its conclusion the Appeals Court rules, ". . .we will uphold the EPA's Portland Rule and deny the petition for review. We hold that it was reasonable for the EPA to interpret Section 126(b) to be an independent mechanism for enforcing interstate pollution control, thereby giving it authority to promulgate the Portland Rule. We also hold that the contents of the Portland Rule are not arbitrary, capricious, or abusive of the EPA's discretion."

    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Air, #CA3]

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