Court orders EPA to reevaluate Obama-era power plant wastewater rule
A federal appeals court is sending the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back to the drawing board over its wastewater regulations in a ruling that compares them to a Commodore 64 home computer.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled on Friday that the EPA’s 2015 power plant wastewater pollution rule was not stringent enough, siding with environmentalists.
Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan ruled in favor of various environmental groups that portions of the wastewater rule regulating legacy wastewater and liquid from impoundments were “unlawful.”
“The Clean Water Act … empowers the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate and enforce rules known as ‘effluent limitation guidelines’ or ‘ELGs.’ … For quite some time, ELGs for steam-electric power plants have been, in EPA’s words, ‘out of date.’ … That is a charitable understatement,” Duncan wrote in his ruling.
“The last time these guidelines were updated was during the second year of President Reagan’s first term, the same year that saw the release of the first CD player, the Sony Watchman pocket television, and the Commodore 64 home computer. In other words, 1982.”