A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., today ruled that the US EPA’s 2010 rule limiting emissions of sulfur dioxide was valid. The rule had been challenged by a trade group representing, among other companies, ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), and General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) and the states of North Dakota and Texas.
The rule restricts sulfur dioxide emissions from electricity generating plants to 75 parts per billion over the course of one hour. The previous limit, adopted in 1970, had been 140 parts per billion over a 24-hour period.
In a similar case in Oklahoma, the federal appeals court ruled against the US EPA, granting the state a stay pending a review of the EPA’s sulfur dioxide rule at four electricity generating plants.
A more far-reaching environmental case related to the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is expected soon. That rule imposes restrictions on coal-fired power generation that affects air quality in neighboring states.