States allege EPA violated Clean Air Act by failing to respond to state-submitted emissions plans

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 13, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO – Eight states are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator after the states claim they have violated the Clean Air Act.

SAN FRANCISCO – Eight states are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator after the states claim they have violated the Clean Air Act.

California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont filed the lawsuit against the EPA and its Administrator Scott Pruitt on May 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The states want to compel the EPA to fulfill its duty to implement emission guidelines that went into effect in 2016. The states claim that the EPA is required to regulate pollution under the Clean Air Act.

They allege the EPA isn't upholding the emissions guidelines with regard to landfill emissions. The suit states that the day before the guidelines went into effect, a group of businesses petitioned the EPA asking it to reconsider the guidelines.

Eight months later, Pruitt stayed the guidelines beginning immediately on May 31, 2017, for 90 days. The states claim the stay did not affect the May 30 deadline by all states to submit their plans for existing landfills.

The EPA allegedly has failed to respond to states that submitted plans. The EPA allegedly informed CARB that it did not plan to review the state-submitted plans until later since the guidelines were being reconsidered.

The suit states the EPA is required to complete the reviews of the state-submitted plans by 2020, but has still not approved any state plans or imposed federal plans on the states that failed to submit their required plans.

The states believe the EPA and Pruitt have violated the Clean Air Act by failing to perform their required acts or duties.

The states are seeking declaratory judgment that the EPA has violated the Clean Air Act, a mandatory injunction compelling the EPA to enforce the guidelines, and costs and expenses of the lawsuit. 

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 3:18-cv-03237

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