9th Circuit sides with feds in air quality dispute

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

A federal court on Monday rejected efforts by some companies, aided by state officials, to void air quality requirements imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In an extensive ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Asarco and CalPortland Co. have no legal right to challenge the mandates because neither company had first registered its objections with the EPA.

Judge Jay Bybee, writing for the panel, said that is contrary to what federal law requires.

But procedural questions aside, the judges also rebuffed various other challenges to both the kind of equipment companies would be required to install, as well as limits on their emissions. They said there is more than enough evidence to support the EPA’s conclusion that these are necessary to protect visibility in national parks and forests.

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