Court Looks at EPA Rule on Cross-State Pollution - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Court Looks at EPA Rule on Cross-State Pollution

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WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is indicating it could revive a federal regulation intended to reduce power plant pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states.

During a 90-minute argument Tuesday morning, several justices suggested that they believe the Environmental Protection Agency did not exceed its authority when it issued its cross-state air pollution rule in 2011.

A divided federal appeals court panel invalidated the rule last year.

The EPA sought to reduce pollution from power plants in more than two-dozen Midwestern and Southern states that drifts above states along the Atlantic coast.  Texas led 14 states and industry groups in challenging the rule.  Most downwind states support it.

Justice Department lawyer Malcolm Stewart said the EPA is trying to be "an honest broker" between the upwind and downwind states.