States and Electric Utilities Challenge to EPA Greenhouse Gas Permitting Rules Fail

A federal appeals court in the D.C. Circuit dismissed pending lawsuits from states and electric utilities that challenged Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) orders requiring states to update their air pollution plans to address greenhouse gases.  “Neither the states’ briefs nor their counsel . . . identified a concrete redressable injury or explained how the states had Article III standing to challenge the rules,” Judge Judith W. Rogers stated.

At issue was a series of December 2010 EPA findings that states, such as Texas and Wyoming, must revise their state implementation plans to address greenhouse gas emissions by January 2011.  In order to prevent significant deterioration, large industrial sources would need to install updated pollution controls when making modifications that increase emissions.

While Texas refused to make the necessary revisions to its plan, other states argued that the EPA did not give them sufficient time before permitting provisions took effect to revise their plans to include greenhouse gases.  The states argument failed and they are therefore bound to the EPA’s permitting rules to update their air pollution plans to include greenhouse gases.

For more information on this matter, please contact Phillip Hoover.

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