States Revive EPA's Mercury Pollution Rules Lawsuit The California attorney general joined 15 other states in reviving a lawsuit challenging the federal government's "weak" mercury emissions rules set for power plants. The case was filed June 19 in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. "These rules flout science and clear federal law," stated California attorney general Bill Lockyer. He, along with attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Michigan, filed a petition to overturn the cap-and-trade system created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They assert that the regulatory program delays meaningful pollution reductions and poses "a serious threat to the health of children by perpetuating hot spots of local mercury exposure," according to the California AG's office. California, which has few power plants but imports coal-fired electricity, joined in the petition because of emissions drifts from out-of-state coal plants, said Lockyer spokesperson Theresa Shilling. Calls for comment from the National Mining Association, which represents coal companies, were not returned before press time. The coalition of states originally filed suit last year against the EPA over its proposed cap-and-trade program for mercury emissions. They challenged a rule that removed power plants from strict pollution controls under the Clean Air Act. The federal agency agreed to consider the concerns raised by the suing states, and the suit was put on hold. Last month, the EPA inspector general concluded in a report that "several uncertainties associated with key variables in the [EPA's] analysis could affect the accuracy of the Agency's conclusion that the Clean Air Mercury Rules will not result in utility-attributable 'hot spots.'" The final rules adopted by the EPA June 9 allegedly weaken emissions standards for all coal-fired plants except ones using bituminous coal. The original suit was revived upon the filing of the recent petition.