SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal appeals court is closing a loophole that let Utah industries exceed pollution emissions and escape sanctions by blaming malfunctioning equipment.
Utah regulators say they were moving to close the loophole anyhow and make all unexpected pollution releases a potential Clean Air Act violation.
The U.S. Environment Protection Agency is forcing the change and says Utah is on the right track.
The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the new regulation earlier this week by rejecting a challenge from U.S Magnesium. The new rule makes about 1,200 industrial plants in Utah liable for any unexpected pollution releases.
US Magnesium uses solar ponds about 60 miles west of Salt Lake City to bake magnesium from the mineral-rich Great Salt Lake. The company's attorney says it has no comment.