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Bush legal challenge on Clean Air rule dropped

  • Story Highlights
  • Decision is a sharp departure from Bush administration policy
  • EPA to develop standards to regulate power plant emissions
  • Bush administration had appealed earlier decision
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By Terry Frieden
CNN Justice Producer
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a sharp departure from Bush Administration policy, the Obama Justice Department on Friday informed the Supreme Court it is dismissing a challenge on rules dealing with allowable mercury emissions from power plants.

The end result is that the Environmental Protection Agency "has decided consistent with the court of appeals' ruling to develop appropriate standards to regulate power plant emissions," the filing said.

The EPA had set up new rules under which it would drop some power plants as the sources of mercury emissions, loosening more rigorous controls set during the Clinton administration. The appeals court had essentially struck down that new regime, and the Bush administration had appealed.

The decision to withdraw the case leaves the older, more stringent rules in place.

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