Supreme Court May Back EPA Rules over Cross-State Air Pollution

Giving feds the authority to impose solutions on states


States in the Midwest and South whose polluted air infects those in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic may have to abide by a federally imposed solution, a slim majority of Supreme Court justices appeared to indicate Tuesday.

While the court was divided over the method and timing behind the Environmental Protection Agency's rule on cross-state air pollution, more support was voiced for federal authority than the demands of "upwind" states and industries.

At issue is whether the EPA acted before states could come up with their own emissions control plans, and whether its emphasis on minimizing costs would cause some states to do more and others less, regardless of their share of the offending pollution.