By Ben Geman - 08/21/12 06:03 PM EDT
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 decision released Tuesday, sent EPA back to the drawing board on the rule to curb soot- and smog-forming pollution from more than two dozen states in the eastern half of the country.
Environmentalists say the rule provides vital public health protections, while critics call the measure too aggressive, alleging it will impose economic burdens.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who sponsored an unsuccessful resolution to overturn the regulation, cheered the court decision.
“I will continue to use the resources at my disposal to fight against an out-of-control EPA overreach into the rights of states and the lives of citizens,” he said in a statement.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, also called the decision good news, and alleged EPA has an “extremist agenda.”
“I am pleased that the courts have reined in EPA on this illegal, flawed rule,” he said in a statement. “With [the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule], EPA moved too far too fast, setting unrealistic deadlines for states to meet its stringent requirements.”