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Communities for a Better Environment v. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20084
Nos. 11-1423, (D.C. Cir., 04/11/2014)

 The primary standards for carbon monoxide have remained the same since 1971. There has not been a secondary standard for carbon monoxide since EPA revoked a secondary standard in 1985. In 2007, EPA began reviewing whether to alter the current primary standards and whether to adopt a secondary standard. In 2011, EPA decided to keep things as they were. Environmental groups filed suit arguing that EPA’s decisions concerning both the primary and secondary standards for carbon monoxide were arbitrary and capricious. The group offered several arguments in support of its challenge to the primary standard, but none were persuasive. And the groups lacked Article III standing on their challenge to the secondary standard. The groups claimed that EPA’s decision not to set a secondary standard for carbon monoxide will worsen global warming and in turn displace birds that one of the group's members observes for recreational purposes. But they failed to present a sufficient showing that carbon monoxide at the level permitted by EPA would worsen global warming as compared to what would happen if EPA set the secondary standard in accordance with the law as the groups see it.