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Viewing recent projects in Environmental Health
  • Rethinking Health-Based Environmental Standards Cover

    Rethinking Health-Based Environmental Standards

    In Whitman v. American Trucking, the Supreme Court interpreted the Clean Air Act to require the EPA to set the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), without considering costs. Instead, the agency must rely exclusively on health-related criteria. The authors argue that such health-based standards are problematic because there is no coherent way to set the permissible level of pollution based on health considerations alone and, ironically, the NAAQS have generally been set at levels that are inefficiently lax from an economic perspective. The authors urge a reinterpretation of the American Trucking case that would allow the EPA to consider costs-benefit analysis when it would lead to more stringent standards, as it currently does for most regulated pollutants.

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  • Court of Appeals for DC Circuit Hears Oral Arguments on Mercury and Toxic Standards

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard challenges from industry, conservative states and some environmental groups to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Toxic Standards (MATS) rule for coal- and oil-burning power plants.

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  • Policy Integrity Staff Attend Supreme Court Oral Arguments on CSAPR

    Policy Integrity director, Richard Revesz, legal director, Jason Schwartz, and legal fellow Denise Grab were at the Supreme Court today to hear oral arguments in the case against EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution regulation. This challenge to EPA’s rule reaches the nation’s highest court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided against EPA. That decision set aside three decades-worth of consistent agency interpretation of the Clean Air Act by six administrations of both political parties, to disallow EPA from taking into account the costs of pollution reductions and using market mechanisms to allocate the pollution control burden between upwind and downwind states.

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  • Policy Integrity Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief on EPA’s CSAPR

    Today, Policy Integrity filed an amicus brief with the Supreme court which argues that in place of an established, relatively unchallenged understanding of EPA authority, a lower court substituted its preferred policy for that of the agency. In doing so, it acted inconsistently with core principles of American administrative law.

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  • EPA Petition to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Policy Integrity submitted a petition today urging the EPA to fulfill its obligation under Section 115 of the Clean Air Act to instruct all fifty states to cut greenhouse gas emissions. If EPA ignores or denies the petition, Policy Integrity can pursue appropriate legal action to force the agency to respond.

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  • Amicus Brief on MATS Rule

    Policy Integrity submitted an amicus brief in conjunction with the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and the Harvard Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic in support of the EPA for a federal court case challenging the agency’s proposed standards to curb mercury and toxic air pollution from power plants. Some industry groups are contesting the EPA’s “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units” (otherwise known as the MATS rule) finalized last year.

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  • Industry Files Brief Opposing EPA Mercury Rule

    Representatives of the fossil fuel industry have urged the D.C.Circuit to ignore standard methods of cost-benefit analysis and strike down the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Not only does this EPA regulation reduce mercury emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants, it also reduces harmful particulate matter air pollution, or soot. The benefits stemming from the rule far outweigh its costs, with net benefits to the American people estimated to be as much as $80 billion per year.

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  • Federal Court Overturns Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

    The D.C. Circuit overturned an EPA rule that would have dramatically cut down interstate air pollution, ruling that the agency had exceeded its authority devising regulations affecting more than two dozen states.

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  • New York City Energy Data

    Policy Integrity is conducting an empirical analysis of power plant emissions in New York City to evaluate the potential efficacy of various policy tools that can reduce or shift electricity demand. The complete project will quantify the health impacts of reducing pollution from specific local sources, and will try to connect the range of legal options available to shift demand with those pollution-reduction and health-improvement outcomes. Today we are posting information on the data and the STATA code that we will use to conduct the analysis. In the coming months, we will publish the results of our analysis as it becomes available.

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  • Comments to EPA on reconsideration of Boiler MACT

    Boiler MACT regulations will take harmful soot out of the air as well as mercury and other heavy metals. It will have a significant positive effect on respiratory and cardiovascular health. But EPA is currently reconsidering some of the rule it deems shaky.

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