Court rules against Bush administration

March 20, 2006

A federal appeals court has overturned a clean-air regulation issued by the Bush administration, ruling in favor of environmental advocacy groups.

The rejected rule would have allowed many power plants, refineries and factories to avoid installing new pollution controls, The New York Times reported Monday.

Friday's unanimous decision came from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has primary jurisdiction in challenges to federal regulations.

The decision is seen as a defeat for the Environmental Protection Agency and for industry, and a victory for the states and their environmentalist allies, the Times said.

The new ruling says the EPA went too far in 2003 when it issued a rule exempting most equipment changes from environmental reviews.

"This is an enormous victory over the concerted efforts by the Bush administration to dismantle the Clean Air Act," New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer told the Times. He said the ruling "shows that the administration's effort to misinterpret and undermine the statute is illegal."

The decision is likely to be appealed and may reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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