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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.

The EPA has projected that along with the Cross-State Air Pollution regulation, the two rules will prevent up to 45,000 premature deaths, 20,000 nonfatal heart attacks, and more than a half million asthma attacks every year once the standards are implemented.

In January 2013, Policy Integrity submitted an amicus brief in conjunction with the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and the Harvard Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic supporting the EPA.

Our brief evaluated the EPA’s calculations of the MATS rule’s benefits in its regulatory impact analysis. We confirmed that administrative law and best economic practices support the EPA’s methodology for incorporating indirect benefits and assessment of significant unquantifiable benefits, and ultimately the rule is justified by economic analysis showing benefits to far outweigh the costs of compliance.