Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral argument in two cases about what it means to be a good neighbor… if you are a state.
The two cases – EPA v. EME Homer City Generation and American Lung Association v. EME Homer City Generation – will likely determine the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to prevent one state’s air pollution from reaching the air of a neighboring state.
The state of Rhode Island joined 8 other states, the District of Columbia, and five cities in urging the SCOTUS to uphold the Clean Air Act’s requirement that “upwind” states have an independent obligation to fix the impact they have on “downwind” states. Read the brief that Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed here.
More background on the case and prospects for SCOTUS’ ruling can be found here on the SCOTUS blog.
In related news, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin joined a coalition of other state attorneys general in submitting comments to the EPA this week arguing that the EPA must combat power plant pollution by both setting strong emission limits and giving states flexibility on how they choose to meet the limits. More details here.