Northeast States Sue EPA Over Power-Plant Water Rules

Attorneys general from Northeast states seem to have taken it upon themselves to lead the battle against Bush administration environmental rollbacks. Last week they filed suit against power companies for fouling the air; this week, six states are filing suit against the U.S. EPA over proposed new rules governing how power plants use public water. Enviros say the plants take in too much water and do too little to treat the water they discharge. The Clean Water Act says they must regulate intake and install “best available technologies” for treating discharge, unless the costs are “wholly disproportionate” to the benefits. The states, many of which have seen local battles over power-plant water pollution, claim the EPA’s proposed tweaks to the rules would prioritize cost over environmental benefit. “Once again,” said New York Attorney General and rising Democratic star Eliot Spitzer, “EPA has put the demands of power-plant operators ahead of what is best for our environment.”