A federal appeals court ruled today against the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to circumvent Clean Air Act rules that require power plants, refineries, and other pollution sources to install new pollution controls when implementing processes that would increase emissions. The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said plants are required to modernize pollution control systems along with facility upgrades, regardless of the cost such systems would entail.

The EPA (www.epa.gov) was seeking to establish a rule that would only require pollution control upgrades if the equipment involved in a given plant upgrade was more than 20 percent of the estimated cost of replacing the plant in its entirety. Those arguing against the EPA in the case noted that such a rule would allow plants to expand output without cutting emissions. The court agreed, although many close to the debate predict legal wrangling over the issue will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.

To read a full report on the ruling filed by Reuters, click here.