Justices Won’t Wade Into Pollution-Control Slipup

     CINCINNATI (CN) – After environmentalists cracked the whip on lackluster air-quality standards, the Supreme Court refused Monday to let the states appeal.
     The Sierra Club brought the challenge at issue after the Environmental Protection Agency endorsed air quality in the Cincinnati-Hamilton metropolitan area – which includes portions of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.
     Regulators found that cap-and-trade programs had helped the area meet national standards on particulate matter, but the Sierra Club flagged a problem: none of the three states had implemented provisions known as “reasonably available control measures” in areas that did not attain federal standards.
     The Sixth Circuit agreed last year that the EPA could not reclassify the areas to attainment status under the Clean Air Act without implementing the control measures.
     With the federal appeals court having vacated the EPA’s determination for Ohio and Indiana, the states petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.
     The Supreme Court shot the states down without comment Monday, as is their custom.
     Last year’s ruling by the Sixth Circuit had upheld the Kentucky redesignation, so Kentucky did not seek Supreme Court intervention.

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