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ATK Launch Systems, Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20050
Nos. 10-1004, (D.C. Cir., 02/24/2012)

The D.C. Circuit upheld EPA's rule designating certain areas in Utah as nonattainment for the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standard. Petitioners—two counties, three cities, and an aerospace and defense company—challenged the inclusion of parts of Tooele and Box Elder Counties within the Salt Lake City nonattainment area. Their principal argument was that EPA applied its nine-factor designation analysis differently than its analysis of the data for two east coast counties that EPA designated as attainment. But the significant topographical and meteorological differences between the Salt Lake City area and the two east coast counties make a direct one-to-one comparison of the data underlying the analyses inappropriate. Because EPA's nine-factor test is intended to be applied on a case-by-case basis to account for diverse considerations, including the varying effects of local topography and meteorology on PM2.5 dispersion, and because EPA reasonably explained its designations, the court denied the petitions for review.