District courts enforce deadline to EPA over Clean Air Act

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

New York and Maryland judicial courts have ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose regulations that restrict states from emitting pollution which could cross borders.

The United States district courts in Maryland and New York both ruled separately that EPA was delinquent in its duty by not requiring states to comply with the “Good Neighbor provision” under the Clean Air Act, implemented to approach pollution stemming from smog.

The New York court learned that the EPA failed to meet an August 2017 deadline that would begin the process of enforcing the law throughout states. The court’s judge ruled that EPA must take necessary action towards the limitations of smog that streams into New York and Connecticut from five surrounding states.

The court set a Dec. 8 deadline for compliance. In Maryland, a similar verdict found that EPA must take a final action by Sept 15.

Affected states included Illinois, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, and Virginia.

“There is no reason why the EPA should not be required to follow the typical practice here, especially when they agreed it is feasible for them to do so,” the court wrote in its determination. “Given the prior violations of the statutory deadline by EPA, it is a reasonable exercise of the court’s equitable powers to require the EPA to do the minimal tasks it has agreed it can do to remedy its past violation of the statute.”

Concerning the state of Maryland, the district court verdict states, “The court notes that it does not grant the above extension lightly.”

An EPA spokesperson said the agency plans to propose a new action that will address the good neighbor policies in CAA by the end of the month.