US appeals court upholds EPA sulfur dioxide rules
By TENNILLE TRACY
WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court on Friday upheld air-quality standards adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency, marking another legal victory for an agency whose often-controversial rules have been confirmed in a string of recent court decisions.
Friday's decision dealt with a 2010 rule limiting emissions of sulfur dioxide, generated by power plants that burn fossil fuels to generate electricity.
The rule restricted emissions over the course of an hour to 75 parts per billion, tightening a previous standard.
The rule had been challenged by the National Environmental Development Association's Clean Air Project, a trade group representing ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, General Electric and several other major companies.
Environmental groups had joined the EPA in defending the rule.
Friday's decision marks the latest in a string legal wins for the Obama administration's EPA. Earlier in the week, the same court upheld another 2010 rule that limited emissions of nitrogen dioxide near major roadways.
Earlier in the month, meanwhile, the court backed the administration's campaign to reduce greenhouse gases.
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