Appeals court rejects challenge to clean air rule

A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to a tough new clean air requirement limiting sulfur dioxide emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency regulation is designed to prevent people with asthma from exposure to short-term bursts of sulfur dioxide. Several corporations and industrial associations along with several states argued the new level is lower than required by law to protect public health.

In a 3-0 decision, the court said the Clean Air Act gives EPA significant discretion to revise air quality standards and that the EPA did not act arbitrarily. The court said it cannot conclude that the new standard is unreasonable or unsupported by the record in the case.

The opinion was by Judge David Sentelle, joined by Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Douglas Ginsburg, all appointed by Republican presidents.