WASHINGTON, D.C. — The West Virginia coal industry praised a ruling from a federal appeals court last year when a rule from the EPA connected with power plant emissions was vacated but Monday the U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear the federal government’s appeal of that ruling.

Those arguments will take place later this year on the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that first went into effect in 2011.

A lower court ruling last August rejected the rule that required 28 states, including West Virginia, to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that come from coal-fired power plants and then drift into other states.

Two of the three judges in the split decision said EPA had gone too far with its authority.

West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney said at the time he hopes the federal EPA is getting the message from the federal courts. He said perhaps the cumulative impact of recent rulings will make EPA see there needs to be some give and take in the discussion about coal.

Supporters of the rule said the lower court’s decision would increase the possibility of poor health for 240 million Americans who breathe in the smog and soot.

The Obama administration appeal to the Supreme Court said the lower court ruling would “gravely undermine” EPA’s attempt to enforce clean air rules.

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  • leroy jethro gibbs

    i always wondered what the cancer rate is around people who live in haywood or lumberport

    • ShinnstonGuy

      It has to be unbelievable. And despite the "scrubbers" that are supposed to remove 90-some percent of pollution, there is always a heavy trail of debris flying through the air.

    • 2XLPatriot

      Unfortunately, the EPA or the CDC won't investigate unless it's a "Cluster" of specific cancer that is "unusually high for the population." I raised the question about cancer rates in my community regarding an old illegal dump site with 12 people downstream with various cancers like colon, lung, brain and skin cancers in an area of 300 people. The cluster answer is what I received and was told that 12 is not abnormally high in a community of 300.