Associated Press Published

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Request to Block Mercury Rule

A plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.

The Supreme Court has left intact a federal rule that targets mercury pollution — giving the Environmental Protection Agency time to fix legal problems and come out with a revision by April.

West Virginia and Texas led a coalition of 20 states that wanted the court to block the rule while the government decided how to account for its costs.

Chief Justice John Roberts turned down their request on Thursday, March 3.

The justices ruled last year that the EPA should have considered the costs and benefits before imposing limits on mercury and other air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

But the justices let the rule stay in effect and sent it back to a federal appeals court to decide how a cost-benefits analysis should be conducted.

The appeals court also has declined to postpone the rule.