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National Ass'n of Clean Air Agencies v. EPA

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20126
Nos. No. 06-1023, (D.C. Cir., 06/01/2007)

The court upheld a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that increased the stringency of nitrogen oxide emission standards applicable to newly certified commercial aircraft gas turbine engines under Clean Air Act §231. Although the final rule tightens EPA regulations by 16%, almost all aircraft already satisfy this requirement by virtue of their compliance with international standards. A national trade association filed suit, asserting that EPA's interpretation of §231 to allow codification of current practices rather than requiring a technology-forcing approach constitutes an impermissible construction of the Act because it allows EPA to promulgate a rule that will not actually effect an emissions reduction. The association, however, failed to raise three of its arguments with "reasonable specificity" in the proceedings before EPA. Those arguments, therefore, are waived. And the association's fourth claim—that EPA did not adequately explain its refusal to extend the 16% reduction to newly manufactured engines of already certified models—lacks merit. The final rule's deviation from past practice is supported by reasoned decisionmaking.