from the DC Circuit.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday blocked new Bush administration changes to the Clean Air Act from going into effect the next day, in a challenge from state attorneys general and cities that argued they would harm the environment and public health.
The Environmental Protection Agency rule would have made it easier for utilities, refineries and other industrial facilities to make repairs in the name of ``routine maintenance'' without installing additional pollution controls.
The court's decision blocks at least temporarily one of the Bush administration's major environmental decisions. The court's justices said the challengers ``demonstrated the irreparable harm and likelihood of success'' of their case, which are required to stop the rule from taking effect.
EPA proposed the rule in December, the then-acting administrator signed it in August and it was made final in October. It was due to have gone into effect this week.
The so-called "Clear Skies Initiative" is among the worst of many terrible Bush policies. Its blockage is great news. The hearings will take months, which is also good news.
This is a clear example of the importance of the DC Circuit Court and why the Senate filibuster of ideologically far-right wing nominees like Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown to this court are significant.