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EPA Pollution Rules Picked Up by High Court

(CN) - The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to say whether costs should factor into the government's regulation of hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

Representing state, industry and labor interests, the White Stallion Energy Center and Michigan are two of the lead challenges taking aim at emission standards that the Environmental Protection Agency set for various air pollutants emitted by coal- and oil-powered electric-steam-generating units.

Noting that humans commonly eat fish that absorb methylmercury, and readily pass the substance to developing fetuses, a divided three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit denied the challenge by those groups on April 15.

The ruling said that the Clean Air Act gives the EPA discretion to reduce hazardous-air pollutants as much as possible, and that the Clean Air Act did not require the EPA to consider costs.

On Tuesday the Supreme Court agreed to consider only the costs issue this term.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce can file a brief as amicus curiae, according to the order, which consolidates three cases for a total of one hour of oral argument.

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