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Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia get stay of EPA air quality plan

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(The Center Square) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Good Neighbor Plan,” granting a stay while the issue works its way through lower courts.

Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia asked the court in October to block the plan because they believed the EPA overreached its power by overruling each state’s air quality plan.

They argued the EPA’s plan “is likely to cause electric-grid emergencies as power suppliers strain to adjust to the federal plan’s terms.”

“The country’s power grid is already stressed as it is, and now this administration is attempting to add more regulation that’s going to stress the grid even more,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “This decision by the Supreme Court is correct but the EPA will keep trying to legislate and bypass Congress’s authority – and it has been settled by the Supreme Court: The EPA must regulate within the express boundaries of the statute that Congress passed.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said the stay ensures federal agencies can’t impose extraordinary burdens on states, industries and residents.

“This is a significant victory for states’ sovereignty and the rule of law,” Yost said. “This plan, if implemented, would have imposed undue regulatory burdens on states – and the EPA doesn’t have the power to do that. We are committed to defending the prerogatives of states against federal encroachment.”

The EPA rejected plans from nearly half of the states and then announced its plan, which had been challenged in the D.C. Circuit.

West Virginia is one of a dozen states that are exempt from the overall EPA Good Neighbor Plan for the 2015 Ozone Ambient Air Quality due to previous litigation. This request is to block the EPA plan from applying to the remainder of the states.

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