Friday, August 29, 2014
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Federal High Court Ruling Could Help Clear the Air in 'Downwind' NJ

In a decision that could help reduce air pollution from being blown into New Jersey from neighboring states to the west and south, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday upheld a [link:http://www.epa.gov/crossstaterule/|rule to curb harmful emissions from power plants.

Federal High Court Ruling Could Help Clear the Air in 'Downwind' NJ

The differing emission standards in southern and western states put a New Jersey plant at a competitive disadvantage compared with its counterparts upwind.
The differing emission standards in southern and western states put a New Jersey plant at a competitive disadvantage compared with its counterparts upwind.

In a decision that could help reduce air pollution from being blown into New Jersey from neighboring states to the west and south, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday upheld a [link:http://www.epa.gov/crossstaterule/|rule to curb harmful emissions from power plants.

The regulation was adopted by the federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 but later overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The nation’s highest court reversed the decision in a 6-2 vote.

The long-litigated rule will now go into effect, a step proponents say will help New Jersey better protect residents from dangerous soot emissions from coal-burning power plants, as well as reducing pollution from smokestacks that contributes to smog, or ground-level ozone.

For years, state officials have complained that no matter how hard they ratchet down on facilities in New Jersey with some of the stiffest air pollution rules in the country, it would still be exceedingly difficult to achieve national health standards for some pollutants.

For example, the state has never achieved the health standard for ozone, which causes respiratory problems for the young and elderly when pollutants from factories, power plants and vehicle cook together on hot summer days to form smog.

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