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Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20129
Nos. No. 08-72288, (9th Cir. , 03/30/2011)

The Ninth Circuit upheld EPA's determination that a California SIP that imposes limits on motor vehicle emissions for years 2009 and 2012 are adequate for purposes of the state's transportation plans and projects. Although EPA’s overall approval process of the SIP is still underway, the Agency's adequacy determination allows California to approve transportation plans and projects that otherwise could not proceed. Environmental groups filed a petition for review, arguing that the CAA and its implementing regulations require EPA to consider attainment data when determining the adequacy of milestone-year budgets. But EPA's reading of its own regulations, which does not require an approvable attainment demonstration, is reasonable. Because the Agency is entitled to substantial deference on the matter, EPA's determination was not arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise contrary to law and the groups' petition was denied.