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Washington Environmental Council v. Sturdevant

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20362
Nos. C11–417 MJP, (W.D. Wash., 12/01/2011) (Pechman, J.)

A district court held that Washington state must establish reasonably available control technology (RACT) for greenhouse gas emissions. Based on its plain language, the RACT provision contained in Washington's federally approved SIP is not discretionary and requires the state's agencies to establish RACT standards for greenhouse gases. Alternatively, the state argued that even if the Washington SIP regulates greenhouse gas emissions, the CAA does not authorize regulation of greenhouse gases through SIPs. But the CAA allows for state SIPs to impose broader emissions standards than otherwise required by NAAQS. Because the agencies concede they are not applying the SIP's RACT provision to greenhouse gas emissions, the court granted environmental groups' motion for summary judgment. The groups also alleged that the state agencies are violating the SIP's narrative standard by failing to establish RACT requirements. But because the agencies have broad discretion under the narrative standard, the provision is unenforceable as a citizen suit.