By TONI ELLINGTON
The EPA has filed an opposition in the Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, arguing that the plaintiffs’ request to expedite their lawsuit should be denied because the plaintiffs have not shown “irreparable injury.”
The lawsuit in question was filed by 12 states opposing the EPA’s proposed settlement over regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. The 12 states involved in the lawsuit are West Virginia, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. They filed suit on July 31, 2014, challenging the EPA’s settlement and claiming the EPA’s proposed rules on greenhouse gas emission limits would be damaging to their economies. The settlement was between the EPA and other states and private environmental groups which had threatened litigation against the EPA for failing to promulgate regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
The issue of greenhouse gas emissions limits continues to give rise to numerous lawsuits and threatened lawsuits. On August 5, 2014, environmental groups Earthjustice, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Friends of the Earth notified the EPA of their intent to sue pursuant to Section 304 of the Clean Air Act because the EPA had not made mandatory endangerment findings or promulgated regulations to address greenhouse gas emissions specifically related to aircraft. In July 2014, Murray Energy and another 13 states filed suit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the EPA lacks the authority to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired plants.
The U.S. Supreme Court previously addressed this issue in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), where it held that carbon dioxide and other emissions could be considered “pollutants” under the Clean Air Act. On July 23, 2014, the Supreme Court affirmed in a 7-2 ruling in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources like coal plants.
The EPA finalized regulations on emissions from stationary sources on February 16, 2012. See 77 Fed. Reg. 9,304.
For more information, contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.