White House reverses Trump-era rule, restores EPA authority on power plant regulation

Move highlights administration’s “whole-of-government commitment to environmental justice."

Published: February 18, 2023 1:41pm

Updated: February 18, 2023 1:42pm

The White House this week reversed a Trump-era rule stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of some regulatory oversight over power plants, hailing the reversal as a win for “public health.”

The EPA said on a press release on Friday that the “Biden-Harris administration” had “reverse[d] a rule issued by the previous administration in May 2020” which “undermined the legal basis” for the EPA’s rulemaking authority regarding “​​mercury, acid gases, and other harmful pollutants.”

“For years, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards have protected the health of American communities nationwide, especially children, low-income communities, and communities of color who often and unjustly live near power plants,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in the announcement. 

“This finding ensures the continuation of these critical, life-saving protections while advancing President Biden’s commitment to making science-based decisions and protecting the health and wellbeing of all people and all communities.”

The 2020 decision, the EPA claimed, was based “on a fundamentally flawed interpretation of the Clean Air Act that improperly ignored or undervalued vital health benefits from reducing hazardous air pollution from power plants.”

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