WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has ruled against federal regulators' attempt to limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants.
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The rules began to take effect in April, but the court said by a 5-4 vote Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to take their cost into account when the agency first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants.
The challenge was brought by industry groups and 21 Republican-led states.
Writing for the court, Justice Antonin Scalia said it is not appropriate to impose billions of dollars of economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits.
The case now goes back to lower courts for the EPA to decide how to account for costs.