MATS Update: Chief Justice rejects states’ plea to block air pollution rule

March 3, 2016

Chief Justice RobertsAs part of our continuing coverage on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule, ME2C is providing this important update to its investors and shareholders. 

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has rejected a request to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) MATS rule after 20 states requested that he stay the rule last week. Chief Justice Roberts asked the EPA to brief the issue by Wednesday March 2, 2016, but today, less than 24 hours after receiving the EPA brief, Chief Justice Roberts denied the application on his own. 

As a result of the decision not to stay the rule, compliance with the MATS rule will still be required on an ongoing basis with most control measures already in place or soon to be in place and fully operational. This clears the way for EPA to issue its revised MATS cost analysis and bolster its “appropriate and necessary” finding in April. Based on EPA’s proposed reconsideration finding, EPA is expected to find that its prior decision and analysis in support of the MATS rule remains justified on a cost benefit basis. 

Although the denial of the stay by Chief Justice Roberts could be appealed to the full Supreme Court, with Justice Roberts ruling against the stay, and only 8 members on the court (in the wake of Justice Scalia’s death), it seems unlikely that a majority of the court would rule in favor of granting the stay.

(Article courtesy The Institute of Clean Air Companies, photo courtesy Greg Nash)