- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
States participating in the action are: Connecticut, New York, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. A number of local governments, including the city of New York and various Connecticut municipalities, are also plaintiffs in the suit.
Established in 1977, the NSR program requires major stationary sources of air pollution to install modern pollution controls when they make equipment or process changes that significantly increase emissions, although exemptions are allowed for routine maintenance, repair and replacement projects.
The lawsuit argues that the new rules will allow power plants, oil refineries and other large industrial sources to release more pollution into the nation's skies in violation of Congressional intent. The states claim that the new regulations will weaken national air pollution protections and result in damage to the environment and public health. However, the electricity industry has long argued that a stringent interpretation of the rule has prevented necessary repairs and upgrades.
The action was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The states filed an earlier challenge to the regulations on Dec. 31, 2002. See the petition for review at www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2003/oct/rmrr_rule_petition_for_review.pdf. The final rule can be found at www.epa.gov/nsr.