Senate Defeats Effort to Void CSAPRNovember 10, 2011
The Senate voted down a Republican proposal to nullify the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), with the measure falling by a vote of 41-56.
The EPA's final cross-state rule requires 27 states, including Wisconsin, to reduce interstate transport of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide from power plants with the goal of helping downwind states meet national ambient air quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) brought a resolution that would end CSPAR under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to disapprove an agency rule within a certain period of time. If such a measure passes, the agency can neither enforce the rule nor promulgate any similar rule until authorized by Congress. Congressional Review Act measures are not subject to filibuster in the Senate, and therefore need only a simple majority vote to pass.
While Congress has had expedited procedures to rescind federal rules since passing the Congressional Review Act in 1996, it has voided only one federal regulation in the last 15 years: a Clinton administration ergonomics rules promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that was nullified in 2001.
CSPAR is scheduled for implementation starting January 1st. Many utilities and states are challenging the rule in the courts, claiming the standards are too strict and the start date is too soon.
Additional information about the CSAPR rule is available on the Great Lakes Legal Foundation Regulatory Watch CSAPR webpage.
This post was authored by GLLF staff attorney Emily Kelchen.