Court overturns rule on backup generator

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned a federal rule that exempted backup generators from air pollution controls for up to 100 hours per year.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled recently that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to justify the exemption for generators that run on air-polluting diesel fuel and typically provide power during emergencies.

The rule was challenged by Delaware officials along with several environmental advocacy groups and power suppliers.

They argued that the rule was encouraging office buildings, companies and other large consumers to use more power from backup generators in non-emergency situations, displacing cleaner power.

The appeals court agreed, saying the EPA did not respond to concerns that the rule undermined the reliability of the power grid and increased pollution.