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POLLUTION CONTROL PLAN HALTED IN UTAH

SALT LAKE CITY » An appeals court granted a request Monday from President Donald Trump’s administration to halt a plan for new pollution controls at Utah’s oldest coal-fired power plants aimed at reducing haze near national parks.

The development marks a reversal for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which last year under President Barack Obama unveiled the rules and defended itself in a lawsuit brought by Utah and Rocky Mountain Power.

 

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals approved EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s request to halt that lawsuit while his agency revises a plan that called for new equipment to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at two coal plants in Emery County.

Environmental and clean air groups expressed dismay over the decision Monday that they say rejects EPA’s own research that showed the plan would have cut down haze near eastern Utah’s Arches and Canyonlands national parks, in addition to other conservation and wilderness areas.

States sue administration over economy standards. DETROIT » New York, California and three other states are suing the Trump administration, saying it must put in place higher penalties for automakers that violate federal fuel economy standards.

The U.S. Department of Transportation more than doubled civil penalties for fuel economy violations last year after Congress ordered agencies to adjust their fines for inflation.

The new rule, which was set to take effect in July, would require automakers to pay $14 for every tenth of a mile per gallon of fuel a vehicle consumes over its minimum fuel economy, multiplied by the number of vehicles sold. Since the mid-1970s, automakers have paid $5.50 for every tenth of a mile per gallon over the limit.

 

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