WASHINGTON -- The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ruling today temporarily reinstating the Clean Air Interstate Rule, a key Bush administration effort to fight air pollution in the Eastern United States.
The rule, which the Environmental Protection Agency issued in 2005, capped emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides across 28 states and the District of Columbia.
The Bush administration rule would have dramatically reduced the amount of smog and soot in the air, and cut the number of pollution-related deaths by 13,000 annually when fully implemented in 2015, according to the EPA.
The circuit court struck down the rule last July, saying it was too legally flawed to be even partially implemented.
But after a rehearing, the court relented today, issuing an order allowing the rule to stay in place while the EPA fixes it.
“Knocking down the Clean Air Interstate Rule completely would have left our lungs in a lurch," said Congressman Ed Markey, chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, in a statement. "Today’s decision is significant because it gives the new Obama Administration some breathing room – and gives the American people some clean air to breathe. Air pollution does not obey state boundaries and CAIR is essential to protect Americans living downwind of sources of dangerous emissions.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.