- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A federal court has sided with Texas and industry groups suing to block Environmental Protection Agency regulations meant to reduce haze in wilderness areas.

Texas sought a stay against “regional haze” rules in February, after the EPA rejected as inadequate Texas and Oklahoma’s plan to meet regulations on air quality in natural areas.

In a ruling released Friday, the New Orleans-based U.S. Fifth Circuit Court blocked regional haze rules.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hailed the decision Tuesday, saying federal regulations would have cost power plants and other industry concerns $2 billion in upgrades.

The regulations are blocked while Texas argues that the EPA overstepped its authority by rejecting its anti-pollution plan.

Last week’s Fifth Circuit ruling also said there was a “strong likelihood” of that larger argument succeeding.

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