The Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency(“UARG”). The opinion was written by justice Antonin Scalia and was a 7-2 vote. Scalia was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy and the four progressive justices on the bench.
The court ruled that the EPA is allowed to regulate the greenhouse gas emissions of ‘major emitting facilities’ that already were required to have a permit under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration program, according to Grist.
EPA calculations shows that the reading of the statute accounts for 83 percent of stationary sources of greenhouse emissions in the country. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli fought for this position hard in the brief filed by the government and it drew the most attention during oral arguments earlier in 2014.
In the same ruling, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Clean Air Act does not compel nor permit the EPA to adopt interpretations of the act. Stationary sources that emit 100 to 250 tons per year of any air pollutant are required to obtain permits prior to being built or renovated under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration program.
Various industries declared victory in this case on Monday, but it seems as though environmentalists groups received the biggest win with the decision of the Supreme Court.