U.S. Supreme Court ruling may help clear the air in Michigan

Apr 29, 2014

Clean air advocates in Michigan are cheering a U.S. Supreme Court decision that will allow stricter regulation of coal-fired power plants.

The court's 6-2 decision Tuesday means that a rule adopted by EPA in 2011 to limit emissions from plants in more than two-dozen Midwestern and Southern states, including Michigan, can take effect.
The court's 6-2 decision Tuesday means that a rule adopted by EPA in 2011 to limit emissions from plants in more than two-dozen Midwestern and Southern states, including Michigan, can take effect.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The high court decided this week to overturn a lower court ruling and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to slap new limits on pollution from power plants.

The court's 6-2 decision Tuesday means that a rule adopted by EPA in 2011 to limit emissions from plants in more than two-dozen Midwestern and Southern states can take effect. The pollution drifts into the air above states along the Atlantic Coast and the EPA has struggled to devise a way to control it.

The rule affects more than two dozen Midwestern and Southern states, including Michigan. Bill Schuette was among a group of state attorneys general who fought against the new limits. His office declined to comment on the Supreme Court ruling.

Shelly Kiser is the director for advocacy for the American Lung Association in Michigan. She says the EPA rule will help improve air quality in Grand Rapids and Detroit, two cities that she says have some of the “dirtiest air in the country.”

Nic Clark, the Michigan director of Clean Water Action, says the ruling will result in “a higher quality of life for folks across Michigan and the Great Lakes.”

“By moving away from outdated and downright dirty power plants toward a healthier and cleaner energy future, we can set the stage for a stronger nation that leads the world for decades to come,” says Clark. “Today’s ruling will enable EPA to continue that process.”