Justice Scalia never said the EPA emissions rule was struck down,
rather the Supreme Court sent it back to a lower court to
get a cost analysis from EPA.
Meanwhile, many of the emissions controls are already in place
on coal plants (including Plant Scherer),
other coal plants have closed or are closing,
and investors are abandoning coal in droves.
So what Scalia wants may or may not be impossible for EPA
to deliver, but EPA actually already has helped sink dirty coal.
Meanwhile, Georgia Power finally is helping the sun rise on Georgia.
So the prognosis is good for less mercury in the Alapaha River.
The EPA should account for all costs before making a ruling on mercury
or other coal plant emissions, according to a 5:4 majority of the Supreme Court.
The dissenting minority points out not only are costs usually figured
in during the follow-on process for specific limits, but that actual costs
can’t even be computed without knowing those limits.
So Coal Plant Scherer mercury in the Alapaha River
can’t be limited without figuring all the costs first, says the SCOTUS majority,
although EPA and the Court minority point to numerous well-known medical
problems caused by mercury.
Are profits for a few big utilities and coal companies more important
than clean water and public health,
especially now that there are cleaner, safer, faster-to-build, and
less expensive renewable energy sources available in solar and wind power?