Court Backs EPA Decision on Power-Plant Permits

     CHICAGO (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency did not shirk its duty in authorizing operating permits for six coal-fired power plants in Illinois, the 7th Circuit ruled.

     Citizens Against Ruining the Environment and other environmental groups sued the agency for allegdly failing to object to the state EPA’s permits for the Midwest Generation power plants.
     The environmental groups claim the permits clearly violate the Clean Air Act. The EPA counters that Midwest has not applied for a new source review permit, so it has not violated the permit requirements.
     Judge Evans found that because Congress only gave the federal agency 45 days to object to the permit, “Congress did not intend the EPA to fully investigate and resolve all allegations in the permitting context.”
     Because a dispute remains over whether the Midwest plant violates the Clean Air Act, Evans said the EPA has the discretion to make that determination. The court dismissed the environmentists’ complaint.

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