A federal appeals court on Monday placed an environmnental lawsuit on hold to allow the Trump administration more time to reconsider an Obama-era rule for controlling waste water discharges from coal power plants.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the administration's request to hold off on the litigation until the end of the summer. The Environmental Protection Agency will use the time to reconsider the rules, with the goal of rescinding them.
The rules require power plants to limit the amount of water discharged from fossil fuel power plants to control pollutants from heavy metal compounds from polluting streams and waterways. The rule would require major investments by power plant operators to update water cooling facilities to meet the standards.
The EPA requested a hold on litigation in responding to two industry petitions this month to reconsider the Obama EPA rules.
The administration indicated that it agreed with new industry data that suggested the regulations could not be met by using technologies cited by the EPA when the regulations were issued.
The rules are one of several regulations targeting fossil fuel utilities. The Obama administration proposed the regulations almost exactly four years ago.