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Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper: A Closer Look

Supreme Court Alex Reed Richard creditTracyBrown

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On April 1, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Water Act provision governing cooling water intake structures does not forbid cost-benefit analysis when determining “best technology available” for power plants. The Court also ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may decide to not engage in such analysis. That’s good news for Riverkeeper, who is now looking to the Obama administration and EPA to revise the rule it wrote in February 2004 and to write new regulations favoring the preservation of fish and other aquatic life. Given the environment-friendly stance of the President and EPA director Lisa Jackson, who joined us in an earlier lawsuit before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, it seems unlikely that EPA would create a rule using strict cost-benefit analysis. Any new regulations it writes will be subject to a public comment period, which could take up to two years. We’ll be watching closely for those new rules, which should be coming within the next two months. Meanwhile, we remain buoyed by our wins from the Second Circuit suit, which the High Court left untouched.

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