You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Court upholds EPA emission standards

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s emission standards for hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

In its ruling, the court rejected state and industry challenges to rules designed to clean up mercury, lead, arsenic, and other pollutants.

Continue reading below

The new regulations were designed to remove toxins from the air that contribute to respiratory illnesses, birth defects, and developmental problems in children.

Some industry groups have criticized the standards, saying it would cost billions of dollars annually to comply with the rules.

At the time the rules were brought forward, in 2011, there were no limits on how much mercury or other toxic pollutants could be released from power plants.

Tuesday’s ruling is ‘‘a giant step forward on the road to cleaner, healthier air,’’ said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

The EPA called the decision ‘‘a victory for public health and the environment.’’

Congress did not specify what types or levels of public health risks should be deemed a hazard under federal law.

By leaving this gap, Congress delegated to the EPA authority to give reasonable meaning to the term ‘‘hazard,’’ said the appeals court opinion.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.