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Supreme Court blocks implementation of the “Good Neighbor” Federal Plan to address interstate smog, threatening public health 

June 27, 2024

WASHINGTON – Today, a divided Supreme Court granted pre-judgment stay applications from industrial polluters and allied states to block implementation of EPA’s Good Neighbor Plan, threatening public health. The rule would reduce interstate ozone pollution (also referred to as smog) and improve air quality in downwind states.  

“The Supreme Court today acted in haste, completely disregarding the public health benefits for communities that are impacted by smog from highly polluting upwind states. We are extremely disappointed to see the Court take this extraordinary and unnecessary step of intervening to stay the rule, which had been in effect for 11 states for nearly a year, while it remains before the lower courts. This critically important and legally required step to implement the Clean Air Act’s Good Neighbor provision will be paused while litigation proceeds, meaning coal-burning power plants and other highly polluting industrial sources in 11 upwind states will not have to take steps to protect residents of downwind states and communities from smog,” said Hayden Hashimoto, attorney at Clean Air Task Force, who represents Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, Clean Air Council, and Clean Wisconsin in this litigation. “While this is a significant setback, we continue to believe EPA is on firm legal and factual ground in implementing the good neighbor provision and are optimistic that the rule will ultimately be upheld by the courts.” 

The Good Neighbor FIP reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), an ozone precursor emitted by a range of industrial and mobile sources, to address downwind ozone pollution. In this rule, EPA required power plants and certain industrial sources to limit their NOx emissions based on available technologies. Smog and its precursors can travel long distances, posing serious risks to public health, as exposure to ozone can aggravate diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory diseases. This rule would result in both downwind air quality improvements and improvements in air quality for communities living near these sources.   

EPA recently successfully defended a previous rule under the Good Neighbor provision in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where litigation over this rule will continue to work its way through the process.   

Press Contact

Samantha Sadowski, Communications Manager, U.S.,, +1 202-440-1717

About Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With more than 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit and follow @cleanaircatf.

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